Class of 2007
Both in the classroom and on the basketball court, English major Tom Sipsey developed the passion and skill to succeed. A member of the class of 2007, Tom currently teaches high-school English in Methuen and is head coach of the varsity basketball team at Whittier Regional Technical Vocational High School. “I love what I do,” Tom says, “and I truly believe Merrimack instilled a strong work ethic and sense of discipline that has helped start my professional career in a positive way.” He credits the Merrimack English program with doing much more than simply providing knowledge of the vast legacy of great literature. “The experience allowed me to develop as a reader, writer, and thinker. The wide variety of courses and dynamic professors imparted the skills necessary for me to be successful. I have made it my mission to inspire my students in the same way.”
A star basketball player, Tom also contributed to the Merrimack community off the court as well. On campus, Tom worked as a peer tutor and fellow in the Writing Center, which he describes as a “great place that enabled me to help other students and sharpen my own skills.” He was also a resident advisor for three years and active in Campus Ministry and the M.O.R.E retreat program. Off campus, he was very active in the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, Mass.
Reflecting upon his time at Merrimack, Tom will never forget the day he took the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) in English. “The test was in the fall of my junior year and I was in the middle of a Modern Poetry class. I took my Modern Poetry midterm examination on a Friday morning and the MTEL the following day. I know that a major reason I was able to pass this licensure exam was directly related to the strong course instruction I had received. You have no idea how good it felt for me to be in the middle of that exam and realize that I was answering questions about T.S. Eliot that I had just answered the previous morning on the Modern Poetry midterm!”