This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Harker Magazine.
Matt “Doc” Harley is a hard figure to miss on the upper school campus. Yes, he’s 6’8”, but it’s his inspirational teaching style in his Honors Biology and Biotechnology classes that has made him a popular teacher and mentor. A Baltimore native, Harley and his family have made Harker their home: His wife, Amy, works at the lower school as a teacher’s aide and handwriting teacher, daughter, Lucy, is in grade 6 and son, Luke, is in grade 2, “and they are both off-the-charts tall.” Harley says his students “challenge me intellectually and reaffirm my faith in humanity,” and his conversation with Harker Magazine illustrates that his passion for science and nature is by no means confined to the classroom.
What are the two things you like to do when you finally have a block of free time?
Nature hikes and geocaching with my kids. What makes you feel like a kid again? Playing with a dog. (Amy has a cat, but I am not-so-patiently waiting to get a dog.)
If you had $100 million in the bank, what would your day look like?
The only thing I think would change is that I would be commuting to Harker in a new electric vehicle, or perhaps taking the new all-electric public transportation system that I would fund.
Where in the world are you the happiest?
There are several places of natural beauty that I love, but my new happy place is New Zealand, sitting on a hill overlooking the foliage in the foreground, and the bay and ocean in the background.
What is the one thing in the world you would fix if you could wave a magic wand?
Better understanding and faith in science by the public. This would cause us to finally and fully address climate change, prevent vaccinatable diseases like measles, and slow the spread and impact of Ebola in Africa.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
I hope it hasn’t happened yet!