By Jenny Shen ’23
Walking around the campus for the past three weeks, you must’ve seen a teacher like this: blonde hair, light blue eyes, a big smile, and a pair of cute dimples. When passing her on the road, you might wonder: “who is she?” I’m here to answer your question: she is Ms. Popoff.
Ms. Popoff is a new member of the history department this year, teaching both World History and Psychology and as the Assistant Coach for Girl Varsity Crew. Ms. Popoff was born in Vancouver, Canada, and grew up in Pennsylvania, Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Taiwan. In college, Ms. Popoff double majored in Psychology and History with a minor in Neuroscience. When Ms. Popoff first started studying psychology, she wanted to be a marriage counselor, so she went to Connecticut College to get her master’s while coaching hockey at the same time. However, after she did some internships in the field, Ms. Popoff realized that marriage counseling wasn’t her ideal career. As a result, she changed her direction and was an athletic director before she joined the classroom. Since then, Ms. Popoff has been a teacher for 13 years, teaching in boarding and day schools mostly in New Hampshire.
As mentioned, Ms. Popoff is also the Assistant Coach for Girl Varsity Crew, and she rowed in both high school and college. Her last school Tilton doesn’t have a crew team so she is very excited to be back on the water this year. When asked why she chose to teach at FGS, Ms. Popoff shared with me that she grew up in Eastern Connecticut, playing ice hockey at the FGS rink when she was around 12, so the school and the area are very familiar to her. In addition, the value and doctrines of the FGS aligned well with what she believed schools should be regarding the balance of academics and athletics.
Ms. Popoff currently lives on the second floor of Brinsmade as one of the house parents. Recalling the memory of her move-in day, Ms. Popoff said: “that day I had a big giant couch and a bunch of people that I’ve never even met came to try and help me carry it up. It turns out that after we got to the top of the stairs the couch wouldn’t fit, so we had to carry it all the way down to the bottom. It was not a great way to meet people but everyone was so nice and helpful so that’s been kind of a highlight.” During her free time, Ms. Popoff enjoys doing crafts and she is also a big fan of movies. Every year she would watch every award-nominated movie with her friends, including short films.
Now that you know Ms. Popoff well enough, remember to say hi when passing her on the road next time!