Acera BlogStaff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight: Meet Tory Campbell

By August 30, 2023August 31st, 2023No Comments

Tory Campbell, Chemistry & Biology Specialist Teacher

  • Ph.D., Tufts University
  • Professor of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, Tufts University
  • Quote: The poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrman was introduced to me by my second grade teacher. It has always been a cornerstone to my personal life philosophy.
  • Book: My favorite book might be We by Yevengy Zamyatin. I really enjoy most dystopian science fiction but I’m also a huge fan of Jane Austin.
  • Album: Music is a passion! My favorite album currently is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Cool it Down” and my current favorite song might be “Black Boys on Mopeds” due to the recent passing of Sinead O’Connor.
If you could go anywhere for two weeks…

Anguilla, floating in the ocean, blissfully unattached to technology.

I guess you could say teaching was my destiny. I am a curious person, and I have always found a kinship with teachers; they were the magical humans that held the secrets of knowledge, compassion and communication. As a teacher, I love that eureka lightbulb moment when you see a kid’s eyes light up and you know they are understanding the concept and interested in – sometimes even amazed by – the idea.

We are thrilled to welcome Tory Campbell to Acera! Tory will teach chemistry and biology electives in our life sciences lab, and serve as math teacher in one of Acera’s ability-based math classes.

Tory earned a Ph.D. at Tufts University, where her thesis State Resolved Measurements of Surface Temperature Dependence and Isotopically Selective Reactivity of Methane on Ni(111) helped theoretical physical chemists create a better model for determining reactivity and reaction coordinates. She spent more than 10 years teaching chemistry, biology, and physics at Tufts University, where a memorable project was her leadership in the course “Big Bang to Humankind.” 

“Over the course of several years, I became solely responsible for it, which gave me the freedom to adjust things,” said Tory. “The course became quite popular, requiring the University to open up a fall semester offering. COVID allowed for me to bring new ideas to the classroom, which increased student enrollment and taught me about the necessity for creativity in the classroom.” 

In addition to finding authentic connection with people through the act of learning, Tory has long been drawn to environments that foster innovation, inclusion and an awareness of differences in intellectual thinking. 

“Acera seemed like a really interesting place where I might be able to grow as both an educator and student,” said Tory. “I believe we have limited ourselves as a society by ideas of fixed curriculum. The blossoming of the internet and technology has opened the doors to a whole new arena in terms of teaching. Acera’s approach to education allows for creativity and flexibility in the modality of learning, which seems critical in a world that has opened the floodgates to information. I’m really looking forward to meeting the kids, seeing how their brains work, and having fun in the experience of learning.”

Outside of school, Tory is an avid Bridge player, citing its effectiveness in building math, teamwork, and communication skills. She also occasionally competes in Spartan races – a series of obstacle courses that range from 5K to marathon length. Her favorite one? The “Beast Course” in Vermont, which gains more than 4,000 feet in elevation as racers reach to the top of Mt. Killington.