Karl Nelson

Phone: 508-693-7738, exr. 117; cell: 774-563-0947 (before 830pm)


Degrees and Certifications:

Degrees Awarded: B.S. - Exercise Physiology, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder B.A. - Mathematics, UC Boulder MEd. - Curriculum & Instruction CAGS - Leadership in Education Professional Licenses: 5-12 Mathematics 5-9 Science K-12 P.E. & Health K-12 Principal/Asst. Principal

Karl Nelson

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This year I  am your child’s AP Geometry teacher.   For  this reason, I want  to let you know a bit about my background education, philosophy & expectations..

My post high school education consists of a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Exercise Physiology granted me from the University of Colorado(Boulder)/Boston University.  I also possess a Masters of Science in Education  from the University of New England and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in educational leadership from Bridgewater State College.  In addition, I possess an NCATE Principal’s license for grades K-12.  I began teaching  in Colorado as a science, mathematics instructor to junior high school age children and later taught high school mathematics in Denver. Twenty-six years ago my wife and I moved to the Island to teach at the West Tisbury School.   

My goal as a teacher is more than to provide your child with a quality academic experience in science or mathematics.   I aim to treat each child with respect, make them feel safe and keep my expectations high for each individual, conscious that I am still learning as an educator.  Daily, I strive to make each child feel cared for, while simultaneously modeling for them how to do their best and work hard. I stress the importance of process and effort rather than outcome for your child. Valuing a child/person for their efforts and attitude rather than for their accomplishments inevitably causes them to value themselves for their character and efforts rather than for an end result such as a grade. My years of dealing closely with children of all ages has taught me that this most often results in a content and happy child who desires to do their best for intrinsic reasons. 

Some of my goals are to aid my students in becoming self-motivated learners, to help ease any fear of failure they may have, teach them how to challenge themselves in their learning and prepare them for a world where the factual knowledge a person possesses  is  not nearly as important as an individual’s efforts, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Obviously, I am only one part in the education of your child.  The education of a child is at least a three variable equation...


Student          +      Parent         +     Teacher  = Student Achieving  Full 

(Effort/Desire)     (Effort/Desire/Support)       (Effort/Desire/Support) Potential


Education in the home and spending quality  time with our children are two priorities paramount to a child’s success in school and life.  A child must do their part for the education equation to yield a successful result. They must cooperate, be respectful of others and  strive to do their best in any  learning situation - whether an activity is fun or not. My goal is not necessarily to make learning “fun,” but interesting and thought provoking. If when teaching difficult concepts my students exit the room thinking, “That was easy!” I know I’ve taught them well. If not, I know I have more work to do. All of our children have great potential and need the adults in their life to guide them in positive directions; we need to demonstrate to them that they are  loved, capable  and worthwhile individuals. 

One of the most important things you can do for your child this year is to set up a regular time for them to complete their homework and check up on their progress and work completion via the school’s Powerschool Learning website.  A large part of your child’s success this year at the West Tisbury School depends on them completing their homework on time and with good effort, following their teacher’s directions. Many times this may involve parents helping their child regularly and/or checking their work to see that it is completely done and is a good reflection of their  effort and ability. You, better than anyone, know  your child’s tendency to get their homework done on time and complete. One thing seems certain; when children fall behind in their homework, their self-esteem tends to follow.  This can create a very unnecessary cycle of procrastination and poor academic performance. It is your (and your child’s) responsibility to see to it that your child has their homework and projects done by their due dates.  On my Homework Policy page of this site is my homework policy for you to read with your child. All work, assignments, assessments and important dates will be listed online and updated daily. 

My  phone  number at school  & e-mail address are:  696-7738, ext.117  &  KNelson@mvyps.org.  Although  I will not be checking this phone number  for incoming messages,  if you wish to talk to me for any  reason, you will likely reach me at school at the times listed below  or  you may call me at home by 8:30 pm  any evening at   774-563-0947. If you wish to meet with me in person, please call me to set up a time - we do not have to restrict our meeting in person to parent teacher conferences. I urge you  to keep in touch with me throughout the year. I look forward to becoming better acquainted with you and your child.


All the best,


I often may be reached in school @ ext. 117 during the hours listed below or I encourage you to see me in person during these hours or before/after school (by appointment):

Monday - Friday: 2:00 - 2:40


Last Modified on October 1, 2018