The Van Nuys family takes on England

Tina Nguyen, Business Manager

After many years of teaching at Chantilly, social studies teacher Katie Van Nuys and her spouse, math teacher Nate Van Nuys, will leave at the end of this school year to embark on a new journey to England. Both teachers arrived at Chantilly in 2005 and had a fateful meeting in the school parking lot due to a car accident.

“We both used to park in the lot way out beyond the outfield fence of the baseball field,” Nate Van Nuys said. “So one morning, I was in the math workroom before school and she stopped by to tell me that my car had been hit. Apparently a driver on Stringfellow fell asleep at the wheel, lost control of her car and managed to drive over the curb toward the parking lot dodging trees, telephone poles, the shed and plowed straight into the passenger side of my car, driving it about 30 yards in the opposite direction. The woman who plowed into my car was okay thankfully, and not only did I get a new car out of the deal, but it was a great conversation starter for myself and the future Mrs. V.”

Over the past 12 years, both have made many impacts not only on the students they have taught, but also on the Chantilly community as a whole. Nate Van Nuys has taught AP Statistics, Geometry, Discrete Math and Algebra I as well as coached the ice hockey team for all 12 years and freshman and JV football for the first six years.

“He’s really funny and always nice to his students,” senior and ice hockey player Nathan Mitchell said. “He makes learning fun for students and he encourages everyone to do their best. I’m going to miss seeing him as a coach for the ice hockey team. There’s a new coach coming in; he’s nice but I don’t think it would be the same without Mr. V.”

Meanwhile, Katie Van Nuys has taught AP Psychology, AP US History, World History 2 and AP Human Geography. She also sponsored the Class of 2008, helped out with Model UN and coached the girls’ JV soccer team for three years. To many of her students, she is a good source of advice as her classes create a positive community environment.

“She’s someone that when students are having problems at home, they can always go to her and talk to her,” senior Emily Ready said. “She also provides really good insights on different perspectives on a lot of things. I’ll miss coming to her class and being able to say hi or talking to her about random stuff.”

Along with their two young children, they will leave for England on July 21 and will teach at an international school outside of London. They plan to rent an Airbnb for the first few days then proceed to renting a house once they get established.

“We feel like we are ready for an adventure,” Katie Van Nuys said. “I’ve lived abroad when I was younger and have always wanted to teach at an international school. And this job opened up and it was a good time with our kids. It’s a weird situation to have had this huge dream for more than a decade and to have the dream coming true. I don’t know what’s coming next. It’s kind of exciting.”

Both will miss all the great memories shared over the past years at Chantilly.

“I’ve had a fantastic time working with all the great students and fellow teachers at Chantilly and will miss this community a lot,” Nate Van Nuys said. “It’s been a fantastic 12 years, and while I can’t root for the Minnesota Vikings, I’ll always bleed a little purple.”