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The Green Arch

The Student News Site of Archmere Academy

The Green Arch

The Student News Site of Archmere Academy

The Green Arch

Blue Zone
Blue Zone
April 9, 2024

Human of Archmere #6: Mr. Dougherty

Anna Benner ‘24
Mr. Dougherty in his office.

1. What is your role in the Archmere community? 

I have multiple roles: 

As the Director of Academics with Madame Thiel, I oversee and help determine the curriculum and courses we offer. I also handle transcripts and report cards, student records, and all of the scheduling for the school.

 I am also an English teacher. I teach one English class a semester, and the other class I teach is AP research. 

Global Studies Coordinator–helms the Global Studies Program which is designed to help students capture their global mindedness as a means of earning either a global studies diploma or certificate 


2. What’s your favorite thing about Archmere?

It’s easy to say. I really like the people I work with, those being students and teachers. The faculty is tremendous. Working with Madame Thiel is a joy, Ms. Lightcap is amazing, Mr. Jordan is supreme…Every day has a different challenge students offer you, but on the whole, you don’t normally get to have opportunities to sit in a class with five students diligently working. The population is generally excellent. 


3. Which trips have you been involved in?

So many. My first trip with Archmere was in 2012, on a Norbertine Heritage tour. We went to Europe for two weeks to visit five Norbertine Abbeys. In 2017, I took my first trip to India. Then, I went to Israel tangentially for ten days with Father Zagarella who organized the trip for a set of parents who wanted to take friends and family. Last year, I went to Belize on the first Global Studies trip post-Covid. This past November, I went back to India for my organized trip with twelve students to visit two Norbertine schools. I’m about to travel to Nicaragua to scout a trip for next Thanksgiving, and I’m going to Europe on another Heritage tour for nineteen days. 

4. Which is your favorite/can you share a fun memory?

Right now, because it was recent, this last India trip was especially wonderful. It was so satisfying. First, I planned it myself with a private tour company, which worked out to be a very exciting tour. Second, the students who came were just exceptional—they never complained. I told them “Don’t leave India wishing you had done more, do everything you can while you’re there,” and I think they did.  

5. What are your most played songs right now? 

Every morning, I wake up to “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison. I also love the Bee Gees. “How Deep is Your Love” keeps playing in my head. It’s just so beautiful. 


6. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received/ the one piece of advice you would give?

Received: I always recount my parents’ advice to me. My mom always said to me “If in doubt, don’t.” That’s served me well. If I have a true doubt and something makes me uncomfortable with a decision, it’s probably the wrong decision. 

My advice to teachers at Archmere: Students only do what you let them. Teaching is more than just about a subject matter; it’s about managing a space.  

Give: Every decision you make is the right one because you made it. Just go with it. Don’t waste time questioning what you did because everything has an outcome. It’s all about reacting to the outcome. 


7. What has been a defining moment in your life? 

Coming out was the single most defining moment in my life. Coming out immediately removed the weight of deception that limited the honesty of my every waking moment. Deciding to live my life as the person I was and not as the person others thought I should be allowed me to fulfill the promise of my character and relate to others with an openness I never could before.


8. What has been a key moment of failure in life where you learned something crucial?

I make mistakes, but that’s not a failure. That happened; that was the response I got. What is my response going to be? It’s not about failure, it’s about the next outcome. You presumed that you knew the path of life, it determined the path. I have a straight-line theory–everything in life goes in a straight line, but the direction the line is headed can change. Every step can only be forward because time moves forward. 


9. What is your hidden talent/ unique thing about you that most people don’t know?

People probably don’t know that I used to do theatre, so I can sing. My hearing isn’t great anymore. I stopped singing because I couldn’t follow the beat of the orchestra

It is now a dormant, lost talent. I am also a thoroughbred horse race fan, heavy reader, and kayaker.


10. What is the #1 thing on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list. There are things I might never think I would do, but when I do them I’m happy. One thing that I did that I’m really glad I got to do was float in the Dead Sea. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Benner ‘24
Anna Benner ‘24, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Anna Benner is a current Archmere senior and the Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Green Arch. When not working for The Green Arch, she loves running Archmere’s environmental club, Auks for the Earth, and also running in general, such as for cross country and track. Outside of school, Anna can be found reading a good book, caring for her chickens and guinea pigs, and trying not to kill her plants or fish.

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