The Journal Gazette
Monday, August 16, 2021 1:00 am

Five questions for David Jackson

Head of school, The Canterbury School

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

1 You are preparing for your second year as head of school at Canterbury – what was it like to start in the middle of a pandemic?

I think the standard answer here is something to the effect of “it was a roller coaster of epic proportions,” but I can't say I feel that way. From the very moment my wife Generosa and I arrived on campus, we were welcomed with open arms by the community. COVID certainly presented (and continues to present) its challenges, but I was so proud of how our team at Canterbury met them. Whether it was through extra efforts to ensure safety, flexible and remote learning plans, or an increased focus on mental health for both students and faculty, the Canterbury family rallied to persevere and overcome a challenging year.

2 After your first year on the job, what's your impression of the school? Of Fort Wayne?

My initial impression of Canterbury was that it was one of the best schools in the Midwest with a wonderfully empathetic, caring and highly credentialed teaching faculty. After a year on the job, I can absolutely confirm this prima facie view of the school. Our program has the ability to provide a robust, holistic education that places the students at the center of everything we do. As for Fort Wayne, we fell in love at first sight. It has a small town feel with a big city downtown vibe. We love the culinary scene, as well as the vibrant arts culture. Fort Wayne is a fantastic place to live!

3 How did you come to work in the field of private education?

During my freshman year at the University of Florida, I volunteered to teach Latin to middle school students after school. At a high school in Jacksonville, I had an incredible teacher who took us to JCL (Junior Classical League) competitions and I wanted to “give back,” so to speak. The students I worked with were incredible (they actually won the first competition we attended), and I tutored them for four years of undergrad. Through this experience, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Fortunately, during my senior year, the teacher with whom I was working announced that she was getting married and moving away from the school. I applied for the job and have never looked back since.

4 What should northeast Indiana residents know about Canterbury?

Anyone who lives in northeast Indiana or moves here should know that Canterbury will deliver the best education possible to its students. Not only will the school provide a challenging and robust academic program, but Canterbury also will develop the students artistically, athletically, morally and spiritually. People should also know that Canterbury is not just a school; it is an inclusive and welcoming family. Finally, one of the most salient benefits to a Canterbury education is that we truly do champion each and every student so that they can maximize their potential.

5 You also are a Latin teacher at the school. Tell us why the language is still important to study.

Latin provides the foundational study of so many elements of the curriculum: government, law, language, literature, art and medicine, to name a few. Sixty-five percent of all English words are derived from Latin, in addition to 90% of words over two syllables. Most importantly, Latin provides a vehicle by which students can develop critical thinking skills and a love of ancient languages and culture.

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