NYA Front Lawn Aug 2020

Alumni Profile – Dr. George Philip LeBourdais ‘00

Alumni Profile

Dr. George Philip LeBourdais ‘00
California, USA
Head of Partnerships, Polygence

Dr. George Philip LeBourdais ‘00 is a teacher, curator and writer who is currently the Head of Partnerships at Polygence, an online research academy that that connects high school students worldwide with academic experts and mentors to complete student-driven research projects. Students don’t have the pressure of grades while completing their projects, but they can earn college credit. Polygence matches hundreds of students a year with one of more than 2,000 mentors.

“It’s so gratifying to see students light up and discover their passions as they get ready for college,” said George Phillip, or “G.P.” as his friends call him. “Through their research projects and work with mentors, students are not only able to find their joy, they are also connected with other students who share their interests, which makes for a really enriching experience — academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Enrolled at NYA from 7th grade through his graduation in 2000, G.P. went on to earn a B.A. in Art History, French, Italian (Cum Laude, College Scholar) from Middlebury College, a M.A. in History of Art & Architecture from Williams College and the Clark Art Institute, his Ph.D. from Stanford in the History of Art & Architecture.

“At NYA the teachers and coaches supported the diverse interests of my classmates and me.”

At NYA G.P. was incredibly involved, describing himself as a “butterfly” who moved easily between his friends on the soccer and track teams, to his friends who he competed with at the All-State Music festivals, and those who starred with him in NYA’s production of Bye, Bye, Birdie.  His music and theater teacher Nora Krainis was instrumental in helping him develop the creative side of his personality.

“At NYA the teachers and coaches supported the diverse interests of my classmates and me,” said GP who went to join the crew team at Middlebury and earn a Fulbright award to study at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He credits his abilities in French to the solid foundation provided my former NYA teacher Mme. Margaret Perkins.

“During my time in AP Art History at NYA we learned about art, history, politics, languages, creativity in one course – all things that I was passionate about,” remembered G.P. “That class, taught by Charlie Hudson, set me on a path to my future pursuits and guided a lot of my choices. My time at NYA inspired me to go into education myself.”

G.P. resides in California with his wife and two children. He is currently working on his MBA and in his free time enjoys cycling, hiking and large format photography.

Alumni are invited and encouraged to share their stories and updates with the Academy by reaching out to alumni@nya.org.