Service to Community: Kevin Matson

With a view toward community service, not only at MB and beyond, longtime upper school faculty member Kevin Matson P ’05’13’19 has served on the front lines of two high-stress positions in this challenging year of COVID.

In this year of adaptation, one faculty member who has experienced the pandemic up-close and in a unique way is Kevin Matson, upper school math.

After using a Joseph Olney ’32 sabbatical to become an advanced EMT-Cardiac (AEMT-C), Kevin began to volunteer weekends with the Hope Valley Ambulance Rescue Squad as an Advanced Life Support provider. His squad quickly adjusted protocols to accommodate the necessary safety precautions brought on by the COVID pandemic. As an active first responder, Kevin safely navigated his dual roles and was one of the first MB employees to get vaccinated. Of course, as a math teacher with a practical mindset, Kevin was well-versed in the geometric challenges of social distancing teenagers and desks, and had a unique perspective on the real toll of the virus and the best ways to keep a community safe through careful diligence.

Despite the challenges of this past year, both in the classroom and on the ride, Kevin has kept his upbeat demeanor throughout, focusing on service and giving back to the community.

As an MB coach, Kevin had taken a standard first aid/CPR course but felt that going beyond would enable him to provide a caring service to the larger community as well as MB students, faculty, and staff. To become an EMT, Kevin trained for cardiac and respiratory emergencies, childbirth, disasters, life support, respiratory emergencies, trauma, vehicle extrication, medication administration, and automated external defibrillators.

Kevin is grateful for his Olney Award. After more than three decades teaching at MB, including a stint as dean of students, Kevin appreciated the chance to step out of his comfort zone and do something completely different, saying the EMT course turned into one of the most fulfilling experiences he’s had in years. “I went into the course with an open mind,” he says. “I knew things were going to be different when on the first day of classes, students asked me if I was the professor when I walked into the room!” The majority of Kevin’s EMT classmates were recently out of high school, taking the class before becoming a firefighter or pursuing medical careers. One even recognized Kevin as the MB baseball coach because his team had played Moses Brown.

During his sabbatical, Kevin attended lectures or lab 13 hours each week and rode with rescue squads in Cumberland, Hope Valley, and Exeter. “I became totally immersed,” Kevin recalls. “It was a genuine pleasure being on the other side of the desk for a time,” he says, relishing the chance to revisit the role of student after many years as a teacher.

Who knew that, not long after completing his training, there’d be such a need in the community for increased community healthcare?

With a view toward community service, not only at MB and beyond, Kevin has served on the front lines of two high-stress positions in this challenging year of COVID. He has maintained his focus on the value of teamwork and collaboration, not only on the field but also in the classroom and in his hometown.

Thank you, Kevin!

Kevin is also joined in work in healthcare by his sons, Andrew ’05 and Erik ’13. Andrew is an orthopedic surgeon for Brigham and Women’s and Care New England specializing in the hand and upper extremity. Erik is pursuing his PhD in Molecular and Translational Medicine at Boston University.