Over the summer, the Fort Wayne community voted for their favorite restaurants, parks, doctors, schools, and more in the Fort Wayne Newspapers' Reader's Choice Awards. Canterbury School walked away with three first place awards: Best Private School, Best Middle School Teacher, and Best High School Teacher.
"The community makes Canterbury," said Rob Westfall, who won Best Middle School Teacher honors. "It's students, parents, teachers, and alum who are engaged and committed to making it a great school."
Canterbury's Beth Patterson was voted Best High School Teacher. This year she teaches 5th Grade Choir, Middle School Choir, High School Music Technology and Composition, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers. While she was surprised to win the award, she was not surprised Canterbury School won Best Private School.
"I have such respect and admiration for my colleagues," she said. "The faculty at Canterbury is all in for the best needs of every student. And our families are devoted and helpful. I was not fortunate enough to attend a school like Canterbury when I was a kid, but I feel like my time here has made me a better educator and person. Seeing the opportunities and traditions that have been established and continue to present themselves is breathtaking."
Westfall, who teaches 6th and 7th Grade Social Studies and is the head coach of the high school boys basketball team, is also a Canterbury graduate. After graduating and receiving his Bachelors degCaree from Indiana University, Westfall went to Law School at the University of Denver and then received his Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Oregon.
Practicing law was an excellent experience for Westfall, but he wanted something different. He wanted to work with kids.
"Practicing law was a good job, but I felt a calling to teach," Westfall said. "As I made the transition from one career field to another, things just sort of clicked into place, and I realized I had found my vocation rather than my job. It has been an incredible experience!"
Patterson, who holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Teachers College at Columbia University, is also grateful she gets to come to work each day at Canterbury.
"The students are just incredible," Patterson said. "Eager to learn, they are trusting and trustworthy. Unafraid to take chances, they are always up to try something new. Open to thoughts and ideas, they embrace learning and exploration. They are selfless and supportive, willing to put their own needs second in order to help others. They give me immense hope for the future."
Want to be a part of the Canterbury community? Learn more on our Admissions page.