Former Physics Teacher Jeff DeCurtins Passes Away

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“For those who didn’t know him, he was the epitome of a tinkerer, going to great lengths to engineer his physics lessons just right,” said science teacher Lance Powell.

Former physics teacher and Head of the Science Department, Jeff DeCurtins lost his battle with cancer, which he had been dealing with for the last couple of years. DeCurtins, or D-Curt to his students, was known for his elaborate projects, including an annual AP Physics boat race. He was also the Robotics Advisor for many years. DeCurtins retired in 2017 to spend more time with his wife and travel.

Before coming to M-A, DeCurtins worked across the street at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) as an engineer and used his professional expertise to lead many of his students into complex aspects of physics.

Powell remembered, “If I happened to show up during the summer, Jeff would usually be here tinkering away. He was super dedicated as a physics teacher. For him, the focus was always on learning, as opposed to points and grades. In his classroom, there would be all kinds of evidence of his tinkering, from guitars to slinkys, springs, wire, and magnets.”

His wife, Lois said, “Being part of the M-A science department was some of the best years of Jeff’s life.”

Celeste is a junior in her second year of journalism. She is the co-writer of the weekly column Bears Doing Big Things, featuring alumni. She enjoys covering issues affecting the M-A community through features and writing about student culture. Her story on La Biscotteria was recognized as a top-10 NSPA Blog Post of 2023.

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