artoo detoonate


Every fall, on the first day of school, Nina Park greets her new honors English class with a game called “two truths and a lie.” Her students, 10th-graders at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Mass. have to guess which is which.

“I tell them, ‘Reading is my favorite thing to do, I’m Instagram famous, and I play roller derby,’ ” she says. “And every year, they get it wrong.”

It’d be hard to blame them for failing her test.

The mild-mannered Ms. Park shows a totally different side after dismissal, when she’s geared up in helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and retro-looking roller skates and jostling, bumping and rolling around a makeshift derby track in an old warehouse.

Known as Elle L. Cool Jam, she’s part of the Cosmonaughties, a women’s roller derby team in Boston.

Skating Out Classroom Stress As A 'Derby Dame’

Photo credit: Kayana Szymczak for NPR


Our latest featured skater is our Communications Chair, 2014 Cosmonaughties co-captain, and C Team co-coach: Artoo Detoonate! Video by the amazing Tears for Phearsome.