Tom Dugan

Tom is the Director of Theater, teaches senior-level English, coaches the Kent-Davis speaking competition, and manages the headwaiter program. He is an active member of the New England Theater Conference and the Educational Theatre Association. Tom earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in theater education from Emerson and worked for several years at Mercersburg Academy as the assistant director of summer programs and admissions.

Prior to teaching, Tom was in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. He lives on campus with his wife Heather [counseling and academic support], sons Patrick and Bailey, and daughter Kaitlyn.


Where were you born?
Erie, Pennsylvania.

What do you love about where you are from?
The weird stories/events that come with the town - Axe Murder Hollow, Pizza Bomber, Gravity Hill. The motto is “Keep Erie Weird.”  Always a great story to be told.

If someone was traveling to where you are from for 24 hours, what would you recommend?
They should visit Presque Isle and the beaches of Lake Erie.

What would you tell them to do/ where would you tell them to go?
To Waldameer Park and to get some ice cream at the 50s diner!

What do you love about where you live now?
It’s close to NYC and Boston. I also love the New England fall!

What is your favorite thing about day to day life at Suffield Academy?
I love the different sounds coming out of the Performing Arts Center - always something going on in our building.

What is the first thing you do every morning when you get to work?
Turn on our sound system and listen to some music!

Who is your favorite artist?
I'm a big fan of Stephen Sondheim.

Who do you live on campus with?
My wife Heather and my three kids, Patrick, Kaitlyn, and Bailey.

How do you think your pet would describe you?
No pets!

Which of your roles at Suffield Academy do you relish the most?
My role in the Performing Arts - even if it not theater - helping to create art!

What is the favorite thing in your closet?
My Performing Arts vest!! It is a gift given to those who win a Performing Arts award at graduation!

What is something you believe one can never over-invest in?
Finding their outlet (passions). Those outlets are what gets you through the tough times!

What is/are your prized possession(s)?
Besides my kids, I would say my beanie hat. I'm always cold!

What is your favorite song of all time?
When in doubt, use “Walking On Sunshine.”

If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would you dine with?
My grandmother, Irene. I have so many questions about how she managed!

Who is your role model?/ Inspiration?
I am inspired by people who take risks! I love that!

If you could ask anyone for advice, who would you ask? (alive or dead)
I always ask my wife for advice. She has good taste.

What is your favorite movie?
Waiting For Guffman is up there. So is Seven...those are very different movies. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I want to return to Ireland. People are friendly and it is just a good time in beautiful country.

What is your favorite food?
Steak and potatoes!