Faculty & Staff Directory

John Bartholomew

John Bartholomew
Science Teacher
Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.S., University of Chicago
A.B., University of Michigan
Upper School

Jack Bartholomew’s childhood heroes were the composer, Charles Ives, and the polymath, Bertrand Russell, who both challenged existing norms in their respective fields, and in their own way, made combinations and associations startling in their originality.

Jack’s teaching philosophy reflects this mindset. “I am compelled to find common elements among the humanities, sciences, and arts—and wish to engage others in that exploration,” he explains.

Jack was graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan, where, in addition to higher-level math courses, he also studied music (including playing sackbutt in the Collegium Musicum). While at U-M, he organized an interdisciplinary honors colloquium involving professors and students from the arts, sciences, and humanities to examine commonalities among the disciplines—an enquiry that Jack has continued to pursue.

This interest has taken him from a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Chicago (publications in superconductivity, particle physics, and lattice-gauge theory) to performing with the Choral Union at Drew University, and from a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry at Columbia University to dancing the rôle of Mephistopheles in Walpurgisnacht. Jack has also studied conducting through Juilliard’s evening division, and a few years ago, he participated in the Choreographer’s Lab at Jacob’s Pillow; his work has been performed at Ailey Citigroup Theatre.

When not teaching at MBS, or serving as our school’s Cum Laude Society secretary, Jack teaches a college-level engineering course at the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has also taught physics courses at Drew.

As Jack challenges his students to see connections between disciplines, he finds joy in encouraging them to take risks in their education and to discover an æsthetics of enquiry that transcends the utilitarian. He likes to keep in mind a famous statement by the American dancer and choreographer, Merce Cunningham, to his company, as they addressed a particularly challenging sequence: “Clearly, it’s impossible, but we’ll do it anyway.”