Joe Deffner


Joe Deffner joined TA as a full-time faculty member in 1994. He earned a BS in education and the honor of “Outstanding Graduate in Secondary Education” from the University of Dayton in 1987, and an MA from Dartmouth College in 2000, with a concentration in creative writing.

Joe brings a host of diverse teaching experiences to TA. He’s taught in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer, in inner-city schools as a substitute teacher, in a residential school for students with learning disabilities in Massachusetts, and in Fukuoka, Japan (2011-2012) as a part of the community of Fukuoka International School (FIS). He also served as Head of the middle school at FIS.

Now at TA for more than 20 years, Joe loves his work and his students: “The kids at TA are adventurous learners, willing to take risks and explore new challenges. TA is a place where kids are not pigeon-holed, differences are celebrated, and quirkiness is encouraged.”

He and his wife, Sarah, have two boys, Owen and Eamon, who currently attend Thetford Academy. In his spare time, Joe enjoys reading, fishing, coaching, running, and spending time with family.

“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
We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.
Our mission is to celebrate the unique worth of all students, to nurture their strengths, and to challenge them to fulfill their potential.