One is a published author. Another was a U.S. Navy Underwater Diver. And yet another has photographed The Rolling Stones.
There are three new faces in the halls of Canterbury Middle School this fall, and each bring a world of talent and experience to their position: Erica Anderson-Senter (English), Canterbury alumn Grant Schouweiler (Science), and Stephen Perfect (Photography).
Middle School Director Fraser Coffeen said all three teachers bring an amazing degree of expertise to the Middle School.
"Stephen with his years of professional photography, Erica with her work as a poet and at the library, and Grant through his work on submarines," Coffeen said. "They have incredible, real-world experience that they can bring to the classroom and to the students."
Coffeen said the trio also has a wonderful understanding of the unique lives of Middle School students. He's already seen how they have been able to connect with the students.
Perfect is no stranger to Canterbury, as he already teaches in the Fine Arts department at Canterbury High School. Perfect has exhibited his photography in Poland, New York City, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. His work was selected for the permanent collection of the Professional Photographers Association, and he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Saint Francis.
Teaching Middle School students has been an adjustment, but he's up to the challenge.
"I like the enthusiasm, energy, and ideas," Perfect said. "I really think these students will come out of this with some very exceptional images."
Anderson-Senter holds a Master's Degree from Bennington College in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry. She's excited about the opportunity to teach children at such a precarious time of development.
"I hope to give them a robust experience with language," she said. "I want them to learn that language can be fun."
Anderson-Senter has been heavily involved in the writing community for years. She plans literature events around town, including poetry reads. Her passion for writing is obvious, and she's excited to bring that passion to the classroom.
"I feel like each day that I interact with this demographic, I take something away, too," she said. "I am amazed, even when I read their journals, the interesting ways they see things. I glean a lot from their developing brains."
Schouweiler, who graduated from Canterbury in 2006, returned to his alma mater after six years in the U.S. Navy, where he was a Navy Diver. He also holds a Biology degree from Purdue University.
In college, Schouweiler worked with the Boys & Girls Club. That gave him the idea to take his knowledge and work in the science field to the classroom.
"I've always liked the job satisfaction of mentoring young children," Schouweiler said. "Canterbury came to mind immediately. I have a lot of role models from growing up at Canterbury, especially in the Science department."
Schouweiler knows it's important for the students to get a consistent education.
"It's been really great," he said. "So far it's felt pretty natural, and I think the kids are definitely getting good educational value."
Coffeen is confident in all three teachers and what they bring to Canterbury.
"I'm so impressed by all three," he said. "I count us lucky to have them."
Learn more about Canterbury Middle School here.