Teacher Feature: Mrs. Forsgard


Anna Maria Barbiellini '17

“I’ve lived in a million places!” Mrs. Forsgard shares. She’s traveled so extensively that it seems like she’s lived an adventure-filled life. When she was our age, she went to five different high schools in four years. While most people may find these changes challenging, Mrs. Forsgard instead looks at the positives. She appreciates the diversity of the places and educations she’s been given, which fueled her passion to study science, history and politics.


Mrs. Forsgard was one of nine kids and was encouraged at an early age to be curious. It was expected in her family to always “bring your adventures of the day to the dinner table,” to discuss any topics that may seem interesting to others. Her parents established the expectation that children should ask many questions every day. Her siblings also played a big part in her life, as siblings usually do, encouraging her but also keeping her humble.


Not only did Mrs. Forsgard credit her family for allowing her to discover her passions, but she also gives credit to her teachers, especially her high school AP US History teacher, Mr. Sage, and her university professor from Mass Amherst, Oswald Tippo. Professor Tippo had encouraged her to apply to Harvard for graduate school, but she hesitated at first. Through his encouragement, she did her graduate studies at Harvard in evolutionary biology. This led her onto her next adventure: studying evolutionary biology in the Amazon.


When asked about her countless travel experiences, Mrs. Forsgard said that the best learning she did during her travels was getting to know the people of each place. She added that moving frequently and traveling widely has trained her to be observant and taught her to try not to to make too many assumptions about others, but instead get to know people. She has been to Malaysia, South Africa, South American, countless places in Europe, and many other locations around the world. She highlighted that her most interesting observation was seeing all the humanity in the places she’s visited, and really understanding that each person is totally unique.


Out of all the places she’s been, Brazil is definitely her favorite. She not only loves the culture of the country, but she appreciates the goodness that the people demonstrated towards her. She said that these people were like angels on earth. “My Portuguese was not too great, but they would always be patient with me and correct me with a smile,” she said.


She takes this kindness that she has received and passes it on to others in her life. She takes on many projects in her already busy schedule in order to give back to community. She is not only part of the Beautification Committee in her town of Harvard MA, but also she was the president of Friends of the Library. She is passionate about helping the community and believes that everyone is responsible for taking care of their neighborhood. “Everything starts locally,” she says. That is why she loves the Montrose community: “It is alive and vibrant, and I truly believe that Montrose lives their mission statement.”


Mrs. Forsgard says she is looking forward to watching Montrose develop and is excited to be a part of the Montrose family. Outside of teaching, she already introduced and leads the Model UN Club. One lesson you can learn from Mrs. Forsgard is to always be excited about learning, not only about school topics, but also about encountering people and learning their cultures.