John Hassan joined the English Department of Forman School in the fall of 2016 after a long career in publishing and journalism. He teaches Reading New York and Sports and the Human Experience in Literature. He is also the primary dorm parent in Carriage House.
After working at People Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, and New York Magazine, Hassan spent 20 years writing and editing at ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.COM. "It was a great job," said Hassan. "I got to see a lot of great sporting events and cover the news while working alongside some great people."
Hassan has a son, Max, who is 16 and lives in West Hartford though he comes to Litchfield regularly. "It's not the best situation but we make it work. The digital revolution finally hit sports media and it hit ESPN pretty hard. So I had to find a new line of work." Along with teaching, Hassan writes books and has worked on the memoirs of NBA coach George Karl, comedian Cheech Marin, and Broadway director Kenny Leon. His next book will be with television legal analyst Nancy Grace.
"It took me a while to figure things out," says Hassan. "But I really enjoy teaching and it's fun to work with Forman students and help them learn, explore, and express themselves. I like transferring my enthusiasm for books and reading to the students."
Hassan has particularly enjoyed getting to know the rest of the faculty and administration at Forman. "I've never had a job that came with so much support from my colleagues," he says. "Everybody wants me to succeed and is willing to help me by sharing what they know."
Being a dorm parent is also a new concept for Hassan. "I never realized that sleep is a luxury," says Hassan. "But my mother was a teacher and I think she would have enjoyed seeing me in this job. Living with students provides a chance to see a side of the kids that isn't always on display in the classroom. You get to know them as people and try be there when they need you, for advice, a chat, or, you know, more ramen."