Scott Prescott '86 - MSS Major

Made a career in teaching and education.

I entered Dartmouth thinking I would do the 3 plus 2 plan for engineering. This was a result of being a strong math and science student. As I entered my sophomore year, I began to feel there were other areas of study I was more passionate about than engineering, which led me to exploiting other options. With a strong math background and a desire to explore the social sciences through an analytical lens, I discovered Dartmouth had a MSS major. I soon enrolled in the program with a concentration in Psychology, which I found fascinating.

Next thing I knew, I was spending time working closely with a number of the MSS faculty including Prof Norman and Prof Levine. I took a course in voting and decision making theory from Prof Norman and out of this came the focus of my honors research and thesis. He was researching decision making theory in collaboration with Prof Berger from Stanford University. I was fortunate to become involved in their research and to conduct a study that examined factors that impact decision making such as age, sex, race and more. 

As I worked through my senior year, I had to decide my next steps. My family has a long history as educators and I decided to pursue becoming a teacher through a masters program at the University of Mass, Amherst. I enrolled in a 15 month intensive program called MESTEP, which resulted in me working at a softerware company in Cambridge, MA and at a middle school in Franklin, MA.

Following this year, I started a long career in education and coaching. This started at Lebanon HS where I taught math and coached football and softball for several years. Soon after this, I taught HS math at Moultonborough, NH where I also started a cross-country program and coached baseball. After 4 years at Moultonborough, my family moved to Amhers, NH where I taught math, coached football, youth lacross, youth basketball, youth football, youth track, and eventually became Dean of Faculty and then principal. After several years of being principal, I moved to educational consulting for a few years and then took a job at the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School in NH as a director of instruction and technology.

I have been at VLACS for the last 15 years, where my role has morphed with the changing needs that come with growth. When I started we worked with less than 1000 students a year and now work with approximately 10-12 thousand students each year. 

I was well prepared for my career through my work with MSS. My work in psychology and mathematics has helped me in many ways. Psychology aided me in working and understanding teens, as well as staff. It also helped me when dealing with students that had various evaluative tests. 

Mathematics and in particular working with data has aided me frequently. I was able to analyze data sets and present them to staff, parents, community, and boards in a way that was easy for them to understand and process. It has helped to prepare me to work as an educational leader, curriculum director, technical director, and more.