Remembering Ethan Higgins P ’07 ’09 (ASL 1979-2009)

Remembering Ethan Higgins P ’07 ’09 (ASL 1979-2009)

The ASL community mourns the loss of retired high school physics teacher Ethan Higgins P ’07 ’09 (ASL 1979-2009), who died on 16 August 2023.

Mr. Higgins in the Mellon Library with students

Ethan leaves behind his wife, former high school world languages teacher Aneesa Higgins P ’07 ’09 (ASL 1980-2012), their children, Alex ’07 and Anna ’09, and many friends, former students, and colleagues who loved him dearly. 

Ethan and wife Aneesa Higgins, former high school language teacher, at their daughter Anna’s graduation in 2009

Ethan joined ASL in 1979 when the School was led by its second head, Jack Harrison P ’74 ’78 (ASL 1971-86). From the late 1980s, Ethan was primarily a physics teacher, but he contributed so much more to ASL. In his time at the School, he also taught every level of math, from general mathematics to Calculus BC. Outside of the classroom, Ethan coached volleyball for four years, and in two of those years, his team won ISST gold. An accomplished musician, Ethan will be fondly remembered by many alumni for the hours spent jamming with them on his guitar after school.

Ethan also made an impact with his colleagues. Raul Biancardi ’80 (ASL 1989-92) wrote, "Ethan was one of the most caring, dedicated and thoughtful teachers in the High School. He was also a super-talented guitarist, and we spent many hours jamming and occasionally playing gigs. Ethan was a fantastic guy, and I’m so sorry to hear this sad news."

Upon his retirement in 2009, Ethan was gifted a portrait from his former student Dana Reilly ’08. The portrait hangs in one of the high school science labs to this day

In his final years at ASL, Ethan taught mainly seniors, who knew him simply as "Higgins." His students thrived under his guidance, and his classes prepared them well for life beyond ASL.

Former student Adrien Ong ’92 shared, "Mr. Higgins inspired me to pursue physics in university. He made learning fun and encouraged the use of logical thinking, deduction and analysis. He was a great, caring mentor who knew how to elicit the best in others. Thank you, Mr. Higgins, for your dedication to teaching, and your inspiration to me and so many others."

For 20 years, Ethan’s students chose a unique way to express their sentiments and feelings about their experiences under his tutelage by giving him a white lab coat on which they had written thoughts and messages. This from one of those 20 coats: "With you, Higgins, I can FEEL the science!"

If you would like to send a message of condolence to Mr. Higgins’ family, please contact the alumni office.