Stan Samuelson, Former Faculty

Stan Samuelson passed away on April 21, 2020.

Stan began his illustrious career at Williston in 1982 and only retired in 2014, an expansive tenure in which he was beloved by so many members of the current and former Williston faculty, as well as legions of students. In addition to teaching math, Stan was the quintessential engaged faculty member who modeled volunteerism and active support of everyone in our community. He played an integral part in the Community Service Club, was a leader and supporter for the Gay-Straight Alliance and Diversity Committee, and was also a strong figure in the campus Jewish community, hosting a beloved Passover seder in Whitaker-Bement each year. During his tenure, Stan was a dorm parent in both Ford Hall and Clare House and active, engaged coach for many teams, including Boys Squash, Cross Country, Tennis, and Soccer. His presence in the greater community, moreover, was extensive, given his limitless energy and unbounded spirit to help others. All of us who knew him remember his deep and resonant voice and his wonderful laughter.

We invite alumni to share their remembrances, and we will post a full obituary when one becomes available.

You may also visit Bartlett Funeral Home to share a message with Stan’s family.

32 thoughts on “Stan Samuelson, Former Faculty”

  1. Stan was my dorm parent senior year. Although I never had a class with him, he is the teacher I remember most. Full of life and fully engaged in the Wiliston community, I always felt comfortable visiting with him and I felt he knew and cared for me.

    Thank you Stan for all you did for me and the thousands of Williston Students. You will be deeply missed.

  2. Stan the man!

    When I heard of your passing I was definitely shocked.

    I will never forget taking your geometry course. You were the first teacher to ever have us use your first name and first name only. Always ready with a quick joke or line and definitely made mathematics enjoyable. Your wooden bow tie was definitely my favorite.

    Condolences to all of Stan’s close family and friends and he will long reside as one of the educators that inspired me to be a great educator myself to my students. He was a beloved man, teacher, and friend.

    With love,


  3. I was saddened to read this email. Stan was one of my favorite math teachers. I remember even though I was a day student I was always welcome in his home and was made to feel like family. He shared some special stories with me during my time at Williston and I will never forget them or him. My condolences to his family.

    1. My goodness. You always have crossed my mind over the years “call me Stan… Mr. Samuelson is my father.” You were always my favorite math teacher and I’ll never forget you. You were an inspiration to me and I thank you for being such a wonderful influence in my life.

  4. Thank you Stan for encouraging and enabling us all to do better both inside and outside of the classroom. I am especially grateful for your leadership in Community Service. Your guidance was essential to us and you leave a legacy of successes.

  5. I knew Stan during my four-year teaching stint at WNS. He was a great guy, 100% genuine, always had the students’ best interest at heart. It is terribly sad to see him succumb to this awful disease. He will be greatly missed by all who worked with him. A true “school man”.

  6. I’m so very sad to hear this news. Stan was my dorm parent my freshman year which was a challenging year for me because I came from California which was so far away from my family. He always made me laugh, checked in on me and even when I would get caught sneaking out of my dorm he would be concerned but fair with me. I gave him so much trouble but he always showed me love and kindness. You will be greatly missed Stan. Sending your family love.

  7. I am spending today celebrating Stan! Stan was one of those human beings, those teachers you look back and remember the very moment they changed your life! He believed in me, he encouraged me and made me less fearful of math. Stan came to swim/diving meets, track meets and I always felt supported despite being far away from family. He shared this enormous love of life with everyone he came in contact with.
    Let’s all be better and do better each day in celebration of Stan! He gave so much to all of us.
    Rest well Stan! Love to your family.

    1. Leaving this note under my little sister’s! Stan was my dorm parent in Ford Hall, but was so much more as he was to so many others. His ability to connect with everyone was part of his magic, but his true genius was that he cared. He truly cared if you reached your potential and was going to do his part to ensure that you did – all he asked was that you also do your best. Everyone that was lucky enough to know Stan was better for it. Thanks Stan, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

      Bryant McBride
      Williston Class of 1984

  8. Very sorry and shocked to hear of Stan’s passing. I am smiling thinking of my days in his classroom. Always a positive influence in the lives of the people he encountered. Stan was fully dedicated to educating young minds. His great sense of humor made learning enjoyable. Our thoughts are with Stan’s family during this difficult time. A life well lived! Rest in peace.

  9. Stan the Man! The man with the booming voice and booming bow ties! I remember as a freshman Stan’s earnestness as he tried to make sure that I was adjusting to the school and living in the dorm – and our discussions of rock music and his Woodstock experience. I remember his classes well, his mix of light hearted jokes but equally earnest nature and style to his teaching. As a teacher today I often draw on my favorites from my time at Williston and Stan is one I attempt to channel a bit of everyday. His compassion, his wit, and his deep desire to see you successful both inside and outside of the classroom was what drove him and what makes his lose to our world and the Williston community all the more cruel. Stan, your wisdom and the lessons you taught me over my four years at Williston have never been lost, and I hope that we all find comfort today in the nuggets that were shared with us that we’ve never forgotten. May God bless your family and watch over them during this time. Stan was an extraordinary man who lived a full and complete life and will surely be deeply missed.

    1. Love this, Peter. And so happy you try to channel Stan. I’m sure you’re an amazing teacher.

  10. Sending love to the family of “Stan the Man.” We all loved him dearly! Stephanie J. E. Nicoll Abeel. Class of 1985

  11. It should be no surprise to me that this bear hug of a math teacher was “Stan the Man” to decades of students. He never made me feel stupid even when I was getting straight C’s in precalc, and for that I am strangely still grateful. He and his warm, big laugh will be missed. Rest in peace.

  12. Stan had a larger than life personality, a terrific sense of humor, and a deep internal well of compassion and kindness that left an impression on a very young faculty member such as myself. Though I spent just three years as his colleague, he left a big impression on me and no doubt an indelible memory on those lucky to know him. So sorry to see him gone.

  13. Stan and I arrived at Williston in 1982, and from the very beginning, he was certainly “the Man.” Today we speak of people being “woke”, but Stan was way ahead of the curve. Indeed, his progressivism, liberalism, inclusiveness, and lack of pretension symbolized what I’ve always thought of as the best of what Williston has stood and stands for. I only shared eight years with him and, regrettably, lost touch with him over the years, but I salute him as the wonderful educator and man that he was.

    1. So well put!! In retrospect, the 80’s were a scary time to have come of age! So glad we had Williston teachers like you, Stan, and others to guide us…❤️

  14. Stan holds a very special place in my memories of Williston. He was a wonderful teacher who transformed how I saw math and that experience transformed how I taught my students. Stan was kind and not afraid to be hImself, and I’m sad to know he is no longer with us. Thank you so much, Stan!

  15. Stan was truly a gifted teacher and mentor, from the dorm to the classroom and evening tutoring where he did his best to teach me geometry…he was profoundly impactful person. He appeared to adopt the class of 1984 as his own [although I am certain that he made every class feel that they were special] and he was invited by the class to be one of the faculty “observers” after our senior prom @ Mt. Snow was officially “over” and we were officially all on “weekends” [mind you, with properly documented parental approval] he, and the others, watched over us, [we were all 18+] as we had a good time in Vermont where the legal age was still 18, and made sure that everyone was safe… Another memory which at the time it did not seem that remarkable, he organized the first Seder @ Williston, in the Faculty Lounge, I realize now that it was something completely new to the school, and it taught me to be proud to celebrate of our shared heritage and invite others to join as he did in such a joyous manner. I am glad that I was able to spend time with him in 2014 for the 1984 30th reunion where he told us all that we were the first class the he felt that he had known since the beginnings of their Williston careers…

  16. Stan had such warmth, humor and joy. He was a great comfort to us students who needed inclusivity and to feel accepted for who they were. Stan and I had a relationship based on friendly teasing, I would tease him about his “dirty hippy Birkenstock’s” and he would tease me about my black wardrobe. My deep condolences to all his loved ones , he will be fondly remembered.

  17. Stan was my ninth grade Math instructor and Boy’s JV Squash coach. Thank you Stan and rest in peace! :/

  18. For the first five years of my life, I lived on the Williston campus, where Stan’s presence and effervescence were always a given for me. I have a very early memory of being on the lower fields at one of my dad’s cross-country meets and Stan playing the “high five” game with me: “Up high!”, he said. “To the side! To the other side! Down low… too slow!”, as I whiffed the final low five. I giggled as he smiled at me and patted me on the head. Man, did I want to get him back for that!!

    Years later, he was my geometry teacher. From my earliest years to being an alumnus, Stan always greeted me with a hearty “O T !!!” and took a sincere interest in my well-being.

    I will miss you, Stan, and I am thinking of your wife Elinor at this time.

  19. Stan was a memorable, energetic, and captivating Geometry teacher. Something I remember from his class that still makes me smile today is that angle-side-side does not prove triangle congruence. Thank you for being a positive influence in my life and to countless others. We will miss you.

  20. I am very sorry to hear about Stan’s passing. He was an influential member of the Williston community. I sincerely hope that his loved ones will be comforted at this time.

  21. I am so saddened to learn of this news. Stan was a hugely influential teacher for me at Williston. I arrived as a new student in his geometry class, full of 15 year old attitude & math phobia. He cheerfully said yes when I finally broke down & asked for help. I went to Clare House during study hall & he diligently put in time to help me. It was proudest D I ever got. He graciously brought students to attend High Holy Day services in Northampton one year. For the next three years, he was someone I always happily worked with & crossed paths with in the community. Post Williston, I babysat for Stan & Elinor’s kids & worked at the same school in Shutesbury as Elinor for a bit. Stan was a force of nature as everyone who knew him, honest, energetic, full of love & humor. He will be greatly missed. My love to Elinor & the boys.

  22. I’m so sad to learn about Stan’s passing. My deepest condolences to his family.
    Stan was my dorm parent during my Junior year at Williston back in 1994. That was the first year when I left my hometown Hong Kong to attend boarding school in the U.S. I was trying hard to adapt to my boarding school life and was quite homesick. Stan and his wife Elinor were always extremely nice, kind and attentive during my stay at Clare House. You will surely be missed. Rest in peace.

  23. Stan was a fine math teacher and squash coach. But he taught me more about life than either of those things. We talked of politics and philosophy and fairness and virtue, and occasionally of pre-calculus and where to stand on the court. Stan had a way of engaging with teenagers at exactly the right level to allow them to listen. His words both carried weight and offered comfort. He was a good man in a world that needs good men on the front lines of education. And for whatever I was able to accomplish at Williston or since, Stan deserves a great deal of credit. I appreciate the opportunity to have known him and to call him a teacher, a coach, a mentor, and a friend. I am a better person for it. Rest easy, Stan.

  24. Beyond being an exceptional and one-of-a-kind educator, Stan was a moral beacon on campus. He was there for so many of us who were different or struggled to fit in, always ready to lend an ear and greet us with a smile or a joke. Stan was the first to volunteer for a good cause and offer his wisdom and boundless energy. I admired him greatly for his strength of character. Those of us lucky enough to be at Williston during his tenure find it hard to imagine Williston without Stan, let alone a world without him, or his family without him. He was to so many of us, in a word, essential. The strength of Stan’s spirit and his determination to be good, to do good, and to spread goodness make his passing so difficult. The lessons our teachers provide us with linger on through the years, long past midterms and finals, and there is a great deal we can continue to learn from Stan.

  25. To students and faculty remembering Stan, I wanted to say thank you for your kind words. Stan loved WILLISTON… was a perfect fit for his personality. Teaching, coaching, counseling and cheering on all the students he cared for so deeply was his calling. He didn’t really slow down after retiring and that isn’t a surprise. He was on several boards at our synogogue and in our over 55 community on the Cape. He taught brain aerobics and bridge at the Senior Center in Mashpee where we live; he volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod, and he was instrumental in bringing back Pride to Cape Cod. He also enjoyed playing tennis and golf whenever he could, and we spent a lot of time together. We are exhausted, so sad and mourning his absence. Elinor Saltz

  26. I am so saddened by this news! Stan, I only had one school year to get to know you, but you made a huge impact in a short amount of time. Being an educator was your calling! And I was always thrilled to see you each time I returned to Williston as we easily stepped back into casual conversation. You were loved by many and will be missed. RIP

  27. Life started for me on the Williston campus, We lived in a facility apartment attached to Clare house. During the time we lived there, my father would put me to sleep by walking back and forth in front of the dorm early in the morning, so he could get what little rest there was time for before going in to teach. Later on when I was old enough, he would take me along while he supervised study hall during dorm duty. We eventually moved to a bigger house on campus next to the Williston gym where my dad coached squash. I would run around climbing railings and hiding in the center of the staircase next to “The Cage”where I learned to do laundry and hang clothes. being with my dad and watching the way everyone loved him was incredible. He was “Stan the man” and he loved doing what he did and contributing to all the lives of every person at Williston and beyond. I miss him every day. Never forget what he taught us all! All the memories being shared are appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Michael Samuelson

  28. I’ve only just heard about Stan’s passing, and am deeply saddened. Stan was one of my favorite teachers at the school – he immediately stood out, with his warm, caring, outgoing personality, and that famous wooden tie. I was struggling at the school in that first year; Stan saw this and personally took me on as an academic advisee (more or less told me he was doing it – I didn’t even think to ask) to make sure I got back on track. I’ve always been grateful for that. And I was always thrilled whenever I got a chance to see him again.

    Farewell, Sam. You left this world better than you found it.

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