The Mysterious Life of a Fac-Brat

Nichole Jin ’24 in Features | September 30, 2022

Roaming around campus, in the midst of boarders from afar and day students from but a short drive away, there exists a special group of students: the faculty kids. Although it might seem like they are few in number, they have a large presence on campus. Yet the question remains: what does it really mean to be a fac–brat? Let’s take a deep dive into their lives.
Vivian Teeley ’24, is the daughter of the one and only Bernadette Teeley P’24, an English Teacher, Girls’ Varsity Crew Coach, and the Head of Carter House—causing Vivian to live in Carter despite being a member of the Stephens House. You can identify this “fac-brat” by her bright yellow rowing crocs that are “single handedly responsible for bringing together the crew team’s spirit,” which she says is her most important duty in the Spring Term. In addition to her role as a rower, it is her job to gatekeep the location of the fake coyotes that used to be on the football field. According to Teeley, the coyotes, which “were supposed to scare away the geese…actually just scared away all the small children within a four mile radius.” If you want to know where they are, Teeley won’t tell you, because “then it wouldn’t be a scheme.” While giving insight on the fac-brat life, she noted that “being a fac-brat definitely has its perks…I’m just not sure what they are.” 
Another notable fac-brat, perhaps even the most notable one on campus, is Maddy Laws ’23. Aside from prefecting in the Stanley House and participating on the Girls’ Varsity Water Polo, Swim, and Crew teams, Laws is  a science girl at heart, following in the footsteps of her father, Science Teacher David Laws P’21 ’23. However, you will never see her set foot on campus without her “soulmate”—a bike. She is a dedicated biker and is not afraid to show it. With the aid of her bike, she can leave less than two minutes before class and still be the first one at Noyes. As Laws puts it, “Us bikers are close to a different breed, we’re just on a different level…[while] you guys are doing your algebra, we’re doing calculus.” While she fits a stereotypical fac-brat-bike-rider character, what sets her apart from the rest of the fac-brats is how long she’s called Lawrenceville home. Laws has lived at Lawrenceville for her entire life, which made her feel prepared for her II Form year but also a little bit like a “brat.” However, she thinks the fac-brat name aptly suits faculty children on campus; she actually finds it hilarious. She considers herself to be the “finest fac-brat out there,” as well as the “most senior” and “most interesting.”
Both Teely and Laws, as well as Maggie Hammond ’25, another fac-brat, play integral roles on Lawrenceville’s Girls’ Varsity Crew team. They are all extremely dedicated, and have started crocs and glasses trends, respectively. Additionally, all their parents have, at one point in time, been involved in the crew team. Coincidence? Maybe. But perhaps there is more to the story than they’re letting on. 
Another noteworthy addition to the group is Liz Parnell ’23, who, while also a fac-brat, seems to be the anomaly of this dynamic group. A native of Kodiak, Alaska, Parenll’s locker is always full, and she never rides a bike, opting rather to drive the five minute distance from her home. Parnell notes, “I get to scheme where to park since I’m one of the few fac-brats to drive.” It’s definitely a hefty task to figure out the most optimal place to park for the day. Parnell has also been a fac-brat for the least amount of time, as she started at the School as a new IV Former. Followed by some gasps from the interviewers, Laws threw some shade at Parnell, saying, “Liz Parnell is an amateur fac-brat; she has only been here for a year!” Unlike Laws, it seems as though she is less seasoned in the art of being a teacher’s kid at Lawrenceville; however, she is the best caretaker of Soap the Turtle, whom she constantly posts on her social media accounts. 
So, does the term “fac-brat” really represent the faculty kid experience? Do they live in luxury on campus, or are they a little more like the rest of us than you might think? We may never come to know the true fac-brat experience, nor reap the benefits of being a faculty kid, but at least we will never have to experience being approached by a random faculty member who we’ve apparently known our entire lives. In Laws’ wise words,  “Spoiler alert: if you met me when I was five, I probably don’t remember you. My apologies. Thanks for the wave though! That was fun.”
After this brief glimpse into the lives of fac-brats, try and spot them biking across campus. Make sure you give them a wave—Laws will really appreciate it.