We found a free period on the first day of the 2023/24 school year to catch up with Germano Diniz ‘88. He is the math department chair, resident faculty member, football coach, current Pirate parent…and a touchstone to decades of Stevenson alumni and students.

RLS student, alumnus, faculty member, head football coach, department chair, dorm parent, and Pirate parent. When you reflect on your experience here, what comes up for you?

“It’s funny. I hear that list and think, ‘Well, I guess that’s who I am.’ Like many Stevenson employees, I wear multiple hats: being in the dorm, being a coach, being a teacher, being a department chair, being an advisor, and, of course, now, my kids have gone to the upper division for the last six years, so I’ve added the parent hat to the mix.

“And, you know, the hats get shuffled: some get taken off for a while and then put back on. For the last 10 years, I wasn’t part of football here after leading the program. But then, I was asked to coach JV football last year, and now I’m working with varsity this year, so it’s good to keep all my hats at the ready.”

What’s been your biggest win lately?

“Professionally, I’d have to say that we now have aligned courses in the mathematics department with where we want them to be, and I think we’ve done a really good job of aligning and placing students at the appropriate levels and pace. We’ve streamlined some processes and we actually, for the first time in the history of the School, taught a summer math course. So teaching summer geometry in person last summer, and then online, and also creating that academic platform for kids to accelerate is definitely a win for us.

“Personally? I just think that Diane and I have been really fortunate to have four amazing children who all have different gifts. It’s the compliments I get about my own children from families that we work with or people that they go to school with that are definitely personal wins to hear. When people want your kids to do things with them and for them, it’s really cool.”

How has RLS changed you?

“When I was a student here and even a younger teacher, the figures who were mainstays in the community took on this larger-than-life persona. I think about my experience with Coach Wilson, Jeff Young, Bob Tintle, John Senuta: these people who were fixtures of my RLS experience, and they’re no longer here. So when you look up and somebody asks if you’re the longest-tenured faculty on campus and I’m like, ‘No, it’s O’Hara,’ but then I’m, like, third in line? Where did all those larger-than-life individuals go? And then you ask yourself, am I that larger-than-life individual now?

“Also, I guess I’m looking through a different lens now because I’m the older person, but another change is the connection I had to Coach Wilson as a student, then working with Chaplains like Paul Woudenberg and Bill Rolland as a faculty member here, and knowing that kids had connections to them and the words they shared in assembly.

“There was a unifying force around those assemblies where Coach Wilson or Dr. Rolland would say a few words. You know, there was nothing overtly religious about it, but it was unifying and communal. That’s what I really liked about those experiences. And I never really thought about it until they were gone.”

What has stayed the same?

“There are still old traditions everyone can identify with, like Monday Night dinners. There’s still Vespers. We just had an all-School, pre-K through grade-12 assembly to start the year, which felt like a new sort of tradition. It reminded me that my cousin (Dr. Michael Jackson ‘68) told me about having assembly around the flagpole in front of the School. It’s cool how tradition can evolve, but the spirit stays the same.”