Derek Burkins


Derek Burkins started teaching at TA in January of 2016 after moving with his family back to the Upper Valley after 18 years away in both Washington, DC and in northern VT. Derek has been teaching science since 1993, including at the National Cathedral School in Washington DC, the Mountain School in VT, and the Swiss Semester program in Zermatt, Switzerland among other places. In between, Derek took a decade off from science teaching to stay home with his two sons and then, later, to pursue a music career as a performer, songwriter, and music teacher. However, Derek’s passion lies in science teaching and he is very happy to have found a home at TA, especially since his older son, Riley, is currently here in 8th grade.

Derek holds a B.A. in both Geology and in Secondary Education from SUNY Potsdam and an M.S. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College. While at Potsdam, he also studied music extensively at the Crane School of Music.

Derek thinks the TA campus is one of the most beautiful locations for a school he has seen and that the TA students, “are not only enthusiastic about their daily learning, but are so very nice to one another and to the teachers and staff. This is truly a wonderful community at TA.”

Away from school, Derek spends as much time mountain biking, hiking, and paddling as possible and plans to finish all the NH 4000’ peaks in the next few years. You can also find him around the area regularly playing music both solo and with his band.

“Consider that the mind is capable of an endless growth.”—Asa Burton, one of the founders, urging citizens of Thetford to establish TA in 1819
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Our mission is to celebrate the unique worth of all students, to nurture their strengths, and to challenge them to fulfill their potential.