Mr. Buran has been a teacher at the Albany Academies for sixteen years. He is currently head of the Science Department and coaches the football, track, and wrestling teams. I recently sat with him to discuss our school, his upbringing, and his family.
Bridget: What’s your name?
Mr. Buran: Bo Buran.
Bridget: What’s Bo short for?
Mr. Buran: Bo is just a nickname I got when I was a young young young child.
Bridget: So what’s your real name?
Mr. Buran: David.
Bridget: Do you enjoy teaching on the third floor?
Mr. Buran: I absolutely hate the stairs. But I love being on the third floor because I have the greatest classroom I think I could ever have.
Bridget: What makes teaching at Albany Academy different than other schools that you have taught at in the past?
Mr. Buran: You know I’ve been at a lot of independent schools and I think that the two things about Academy, if I had to go with two. One is that the faculty is absolutely the best of any school I’ve been to. I’ve never seen a group of people that care as much about kids. Second, I am a big fan of single gender education so the fact that we have a boys’ school and a girls’ school I think helps all of our students have the best possible educational experience.
Bridget: Do you think that our advising program helps or hinders our experience here?
Mr. Buran: Well I think it helps. I think it is important to have a point person for each student. I think having somebody whose role is to look out for this group of kids and for a student to have someone to go to if there’s ever anything up. I think it’s worthwhile.
Bridget: How does your teaching style differ from teaching boys vs. teaching girls?
Mr. Buran: It is different because boys and girls are different and one of the things we’re doing this year is bringing in Micheal Gurian to look at why that is and look at the brain chemistry behind it. We do many things as teachers without thinking and hopefully this year we’ll learn a lot about “oh that’s why I do that.” But it’s the same material, it’s the same academic approach, but I think you deal with boys and girls differently just like as a family you deal with sons and daughters differently.
Bridget: Was there a teacher or professor that you had when you were in school that made you want to teach?
Mr. Buran: I will say that for me that there was no question that the most important person in terms of helping me be who I am was my dad. He was my football coach, my track coach, and he is still probably the person who I am closest to more than anybody.
Bridget: What made growing up in Pittsburgh so special?
Mr. Buran: Pittsburgh is a different place. If you were watching football last week on the NFL you saw that there were more fans for Pittsburgh than there were for the Chargers at the Chargers stadium. When you grow up in Pittsburgh people love being there and it’s a friendly place in a way that you can’t explain to people that aren’t there. That friendliness, that sense of belonging is something that you don’t see in other cities and it’s very special.
Bridget: If I were to spend a day in Pittsburgh, what should I do?
Mr. Buran: You should start your morning in the Strip District where they have all of the shops and places where you would be able to get all of the local food and clothing and things like that. You should have lunch at Primanti’s and spend the day downtown at the Point. Visit the Incline and you should definitely hit up Vincent’s Pizza Park for dinner.
Bridget: What were you like as a kid?
Mr. Buran: When I was two I was a royal pain in the bum. I was in trouble and got spanked every day and I know we don’t do that anymore but back in those days you did. When I was a younger kid though I was kind of the kid that usually did what you were supposed to do. So I was a pretty good kid in that way.
Bridget: What made you choose Bowdoin?
Mr. Buran: I am embarrassed to say that I was absolutely sold when I saw their football field. It is the absolute most beautiful football field in the United States. I also lucked out that it happened to be the best undergraduate biochem program, beautiful campus, I just loved my whole experience there.
Bridget: When raising your kids, was there a specific reason why you chose to bring them to Academy instead of another school?
Mr. Buran: Coming to Academy was like the perfect match for our family, because all of my kids could go to school here, it fit for everybody and was a great match all the way along. My kids would be the first to say that they wish they had been here their whole career, they loved it here and it was a great experience for all of them.
Bridget: Do you think that going through the college admissions process with your own kids helped when helping your advisees go through the process?
Mr. Buran: Oh absolutely. I think that as a teacher, as an advisor, as a coach, being a parent gives you another sense and another look and another way of approaching everything. I think that the parental aspect has made me a better teacher in general.