VOTES: Leadership

VOTES Co-Founders

Portrait of Jim Shea,VOTES directorJim Shea
  • Graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1982 with a BA in history
  • Graduate work at the University of Massachusetts, Wesleyan University, and Queen's University in Belfast
  • Came to NMH in 1986 as history and social science teacher and dorm head of Gould Hall. Courses taught include American Government, US History, and US Foreign Policy
  • Co-founded VOTES in 1988 and currently leads the program
  • Led five term abroad trips to Egypt and one to Turkey
  • Head coach, JV basketball and assistant coach, varsity baseball
  • Won the Blake Chair for Excellence in Teaching, the Housen Award for Excellence in Coaching, and the Parents Chair Award for Excellence in the Residential Arena
  • Received a Stanton Foundation Grant for the Innovative Teaching of Civics in 2011 and 2012
  • Currently does dorm duty in Shea Family Cottage
  • Married to Alissa; two children (Liam, 9 years old, and Aidan, 7½ years old)
  • Interests: hiking, camping, world travel, Irish history, and US politics

Lorrie Byrom (retired from NMH in 2014)

  • Graduated from the College of Wooster in 1969 with a BA in history
  • Taught elementary school in Appalachia (Coal Run, Pennsylvania)—first grade in three-room school house
  • Graduate school at the College of Wooster, earning a master’s degree in teaching history
  • Came to NMH in 1973 as a history and social science teacher; was a house director, department chair, director of studies, school dean, and dean of faculty. Courses taught include US History, World History, Asia Rising, Women’s History, Comparative Politics, and Model United Nations
  • Co-founded VOTES in 1988
  • Led five terms abroad to Egypt and one to Turkey, traveled with the Model UN group to conferences in St. Petersburg, Russia; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Haarlem, Holland; and Rio de Janiero, Brazil
  • Won Head’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Perry Family Fellowship, William Morrow Award for long-term service to the school
  • Owns and directs Camp Betsey Cox for Girls in Pittsford, Vermont (25 years in a family business)
  • Married to Mike; two children (Devri Suzanne ’90 and Jediah ’92)
  • Interests: education, camping, reading, hiking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, theater, and the arts
Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

Faculty Profiles

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.


“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”


In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.


"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 


"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."


"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."


"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."


"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."


 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."


“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”


Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”


“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 


“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”


“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”


“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles