For love of the read

English teacher builds foundation on family, nature and books; Oh yeah, and superheroes

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Stacy Stockwell

English teacher Rob Bergman loves his family, loves the outdoors and loves reading like there’s no tomorrow.

Colby Quinn '24, Staff Writer

Nestled in Morecambe Bay, a half-mile off the coast of England lies Piel Island. Upon this 50-acre island lies a pub, a castle, and an inn. Every seven years, Piel Island looks for a new king to become the caretaker of the island. This is where we would find an English teacher named Rob Bergman, probably with a book in hand.

“My wife and I thought it would just be cool as hell to sign up for seven years and just live on that island and be the king and queen,” Mr. Bergman said. “If I had no obligations, I’d be king of the island. I’d be able to do whatever I want.”

To say Mr. Bergman is an avid reader would be a significant understatement. He has read over 1,100 books since he began tracking in 2006, which comes out to about 65 a year, and three books at once.

“I’ve found very few books that I haven’t liked,” Mr. Bergman said. “Even bad books are good for certain reasons. I think I’ve only put down two books. There’s always something new to read or something old to read which is like connecting with an old friend. I’ve always read, ever since I was a little kid. It keeps my mind nimble.”

Rooted by his family, Mr. Bergman’s tree branches support his love for literature, travel, cinema, superheroes, nature, hiking, and teaching.

Words and stories ground, elevate, and inspire him. He sincerely wishes they do the same for his students.”

— Sean Cavanagh on fellow English teacher Rob Bergman

“My family’s very supportive of pretty much everything I’ve ever done,” Mr. Bergman said. “My parents, my brother, my wife, my kids. I guess when you get older you feel like you’ve done everything until you have kids and you get to redo the same things from a different perspective. It’s just really interesting.”

A graduate of the class of ‘93, Mr. Bergman has worked at his alma mater for 21 years, each of which with fellow English teacher and friend Sean Cavanagh.

“I think words and stories are part of Mr. Bergman’s deepest core,” Mr. Cavanagh said. “Teaching truly is a vocation to him. Words and stories ground, elevate, and inspire him. He sincerely wishes they do the same for his students. His enthusiasm for the subject is real and ongoing, and when it comes to his classes, he is as thoroughly informed and prepared as any teacher I’ve ever met.”

Whether hiking with his family in beautiful parks, planning his classes, or sharing his journaled thoughts with the school’s body, Mr. Bergman’s attitude remains consistent.

“I don’t do a lot of things, but the things that I do I work hard at,” he said. “I don’t try to be the best, but I try to be the best I can be. I don’t try to see myself as something I’m not.”