Mark Cassinelli ’95, Kevin McGovern ’95, James Gowell ’96, Andy Ferguson ’95 and Mike Sansonetti ’98. These alumni live in different states and have followed different paths since graduation. They have had triumphs, defeats and everyday wins and challenges. But over the past 25 years they have had one thing in common – their bond with their Colby-Sawyer academic advisor, Nancy Teach ’70.

Teach worked at Colby-Sawyer for 28 years, serving as an academic advisor to many students during her tenure at the college. While serving in this role, Teach made many connections and friendships with the students she advised. Sansonetti remembers, “Nancy was my academic advisor and helped me select classes she knew I could handle.” Gowell said, “I first met Nancy my freshman year at CSC. She was, and remains, my academic advisor and saving grace.”

McGovern remembers meeting Teach when he arrived with the first 67 males to be admitted to Colby-Sawyer. He says, “I was a bit of a hippie, and I was thrown out of the business program. Nancy stepped in and helped me appeal the decision. I stepped up my game, cut my hair and won the appeal, eventually graduating with a bachelor’s degree – all thanks to Nancy.” Gowell added, “I was not the best student. I was playing two sports during my sophomore year and spent too much time partying with my friends. She was always willing to look me in the eye and tell me that I needed to take it down a notch and focus on my studies.”

Cassinelli, McGovern, Gowell, Ferguson and Sansonetti, along with a few other alums, were the original “Woodstack” crew Teach organized back in 1995. This group of past students have helped Teach stack her wood pile every fall since then. Cassinelli said, “Every year since 1995, we have had a woodstack party until she moved into her new house in 2018. Now we help with fall clean up. The roster has changed a bit over the years, but some of us have been constant and now our boys are as well.” Gowell said, “Nancy has watched all of us grow up, and she has also been able to watch our children grow up.”

Over the years, Teach has continued to offer “her students” an abundance of advice, words of wisdom and kindness. This is what these alums admire about her most:

Ferguson: “I appreciate Nancy’s history with Colby-Sawyer. Her family has been so connected to the school and she has been a part of the CSC community through so much change and growth. I appreciate her kindness, patience, hard work and honesty. She has always been approachable. And she makes great blueberry muffins.”

Sansonetti: “Nancy is a positive person who goes out of her way to help others. What I admire most about Nancy is her ‘life goes on’ outlook and her honest style of communication, regardless of how long it’s been since the last time you saw her.”

McGovern: “I appreciate Nancy for her absolutly genuine kind soul.”

Cassinelli: “I 100% never would have graduated without her mentorship, and I know there’s many others out there that could or should say the same thing. Nancy is kind, welcoming and genuine. I am appreciative for the mentoring she provided when I really needed it and for the lasting friendship we still have.”

Gowell: “Without hesitation, I would not be where I am today without Nancy being in my life. She is someone I admire, look up to and am forever grateful that she shared her wisdom and, most importantly, was willing to take a chance to help a student who was often lost, confused and unaware of the opportunity that stood before me. Nancy helped me focus, graduate and launch into a post-grad life with confidence. Nancy Teach is my trusted mentor, great friend and one of my kids’ favorite people to visit every year.”