Jack Cavanaugh
1st Grade Teacher & On-Ice Coach


I live in Minneapolis in the same house that I grew up in. My wife Rose and I have two daughters, Ellie(8) and Mabel(6). I grew up playing youth hockey for the Washburn Millers and then four years of varsity hockey at Breck School. When I am not taking care of two very active daughters I like working on my house and spending time on the boat.

What do you like most about BA?
I like that the school works hard to find the right balance between hockey and education. Neither one is put higher than the other. The expectations for the players, coaches, and teachers are high and everyone works to meet them.

Why did you get into education?
I was coaching hockey and working with kids nearly everyday and my dad suggested that I might find a more rewarding career doing something that I really enjoyed. My Grandpa taught in a one room schoolhouse and my dad was a professor at the U of M so teaching must be in my blood.

Which coach or teacher had the biggest impact on your life and why?
My high school coach, Craig Sarner, had the biggest impact. He taught me the importance of being honest not just with others, but also with myself. He always found ways to motivate me to do more than I thought I could do. Though he was a tough coach, he was a teaching coach. From him I learned that when coaching or teaching, to let student athletes make their mistakes and then show them how to do it a better way.

What is your best advice for students at BA?
Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Doing challenging and new things is hard. It requires time and practice. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What are your credentials and teaching experience?
I graduated from St. John’s University(MN) in 1995 with a B.A. in Math/Computer Science and History. After graduating I worked as a computer programmer/analyst for MetLife. I then received my M.B.A in 2004 from St. Thomas University(MN) and worked as a director at a property management company. In 2011 I once again returned to the University of St. Thomas and earned my Masters in Education. My main classroom experience was teaching third grade for nearly ten years. I also coached the Breck Boys JV Hockey team from 1999-2015.