For years, Scott Betournay ASP’96 has contributed his skills as a teacher at ASP and as a valued member of the SPS Science Department.
BY JANA F. BROWN
A phone call in the spring of 2007 is what brought Scott Betournay ASP ’96 back to New Hampshire. After graduating from Bates College in 2001 with a degree in biology, the Meredith native had moved south to pursue a master’s in ecology from East Carolina University. At the time, he was in the last semester of his program, and he was looking to return to the Granite State.
On the line was Tom Bazos, then director of the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School. Bazos remembered Betournay from five years earlier when he served as an intern in the Molecular Biology class.
“Tom asked me if I might consider applying to teach Molecular Biology that summer,” Betournay recalls. “I did, and they offered me the job.”
Accepting that position turned out to be the start of a full-circle experience for Betournay with ASP. Other than 2020, when COVID-19 forced a scaled-back summer program that did not include lab sciences, Betournay has taught Molecular Biology to talented rising juniors and seniors from New Hampshire schools at the ASP every summer. His connection to the SPS summer program also led Betournay to his full-time work at SPS.
After his first ASP summer and a year of teaching biology at Concord High School, Betournay joined the SPS community ahead of the 2008-09 academic year. Hired as a science lab technician, his responsibilities include supporting SPS science teachers and classrooms with everything from preparing labs and activities to managing the behind-the-scenes operations of the department. That means monitoring the supply of chemicals and equipment for all scientific disciplines and ensuring that work is conducted safely.
“I make sure the resources are in place to be safe in all we do here,” Betournay says.
In his 16-year-tenure, Betournay has, at times, taught Molecular Biology and an elective called Conservation Biology during the regular academic session. The benefits of his full-time work in the Lindsay Center for Mathematics and Science include the extra preparation it allows him ahead of his summers at ASP. In turn, he credits his experience as a summer faculty member for inspiring his career path and his time as an ASP student with helping to shape him as a scholar and thinker.
For anyone in a New Hampshire high school, I really can’t encourage them enough to apply to ASP. I think they’ll find the experience to be far more rewarding and inspiring than they might imagine.”