Mr. Baer Takes On 11th and 12th Grade Deanship


Scarlet Gitelson

Mr. Baer’s is the newest addition to the Upper School offices.

After the departure of beloved upperclassman dean Joe Edwards, a familiar face moved into the Upper School office. This year, Nick Baer, former Chair of the Performing Arts Department, will take over as 11th and 12th Grade Dean of Students, while also celebrating his 20th year at Latin.

In addition to his new role as dean, Mr. Baer is directing the fall play, teaching Latin’s Intermediate Improv Company class, and serving as an co-advisor to Student Government. Despite his increased workload, he still performs each of his roles with attentiveness. Senior Cole Hanover, who is in the fall play, said, “Mr. Baer’s accessibility as a director is never going to change, no matter what other positions he has.”

Junior Maile Raff added, “[He] definitely makes us laugh, definitely has a high tolerance for nonsense. It’s really great working with Mr. Baer.”

The current fall play, The Crucible, demands not only talented acting and directing but a keen historical awareness as the cast and crew delve into the Salem Witch Trials. Mr. Baer has helped students explore the history behind their roles to portray them better on stage. “After a string of shows that fell more into the realm of comedy, it’s nice to tackle a weighty script with such complex themes.” Mr. Baer said, “I feel like The Crucible is always relevant in our country and our world, where some people take every opportunity to stoke fear and uncertainty for personal gain.”

Due to his variety of new roles, Mr. Baer is teaching only one course this semester—Intermediate Improv. Jonny Nelson, a new teacher at Latin, took over the other sections of Improv so that Mr. Baer would have more time to juggle his responsibilities as a dean, co-advisor for Student Government, and, of course, director. “I have taught [all of the Improv classes] for the last 19 years,” Mr. Baer said, “and it’s one of my favorite parts of working at Latin. But I’m really excited about our new Improv teacher, Mr. Nelson, who also teaches at Second City and is great.”

In classes, Mr. Baer is a large proponent of constructive feedback to help his students grow as actors. “In Improv, he never was like ‘this is wrong,’ or ‘do this,’” junior Payton Rice said. “He would always say, ‘Okay, here’s how you can adapt that.’”

As a dean, Mr. Baer is approachable and accessible to students. “I’ve always been comfortable going to him to ask for advice,” Cole said. “Now, it’s just that he is the person I’m supposed to go to to ask for advice.” He added, “I feel very fortunate that the guy that I’m supposed to talk to is the guy that I’m already very comfortable talking to.”

Mr. Baer brings great enthusiasm and a positive attitude to the deanship and his other various jobs around the school. “I’m just excited to help the junior and senior classes come together and have a successful and fun school year,” he said.