Select Page

Written by former Head of the Upper School, Kim McDowell (2000-2022):

For the past dozen or more years, Lou Battaglia has served as the Upper School’s utility player. “Mr. B”–as students called him–subbed in classes across the disciplines including English, Biology, French, Spanish, Physics, History, Art, Math, and Chemistry (this last one was his area of expertise). In addition, he proctored SAT, ACT, PSAT, and AP exams, and he could be spotted on the deck during HAC swim meets, in the bleachers at HAC soccer, basketball, and volleyball games, and on the X-C course at the McQuaid Invitational–a meet in which he competed himself during his own high school years at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo.

Parent of former Upper School Registrar, Anna McDermott, Lou also encouraged Henry ’14 and Brighid Smith ’16 to transfer to Harley as they entered Grades 9 and 11. Henry, who now works as Assistant to the Head of Upper School, credits Mr. B with literally “changing the course of [his] life” by suggesting the Smith family’s move to Harley.

A gifted teacher, Lou had a knack for quickly developing a positive rapport with both students and faculty. Conversant in music, cars, sports, clothing, books, and independent school culture, Lou welcomed opportunities to connect with truly everyone at Harley. Teachers, maintenance workers, clerical staff, coaches, administrators, and the dining hall staff appreciated Lou’s wit and wisdom.

Click here to read his obituary.