The history department at Concord Academy welcomes with great excitement its newest member, Ruth Watterson. Ruth grew up in Northern Ireland, near Belfast, before attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she received her undergraduate degree. She then went to Harvard University for her graduate work.
Ruth’s dedication and love for history were sparked by a gender history course that a “phenomenal, energetic, engaged, edgy, and young” professor taught to history concentrators at the University of St. Andrews. Inspired by that teacher and the class titled “Good Wives, Base Seducers, and Colonial Crossdressers,” Ruth remains passionate about Gender History, with a particular focus on the early United States. She ended up receiving a double degree, in both English Literature and History.
Ruth also shared her excitement about the CA history curriculum. She explained, “You guys get to do gender history in high school! I had to wait until college to do that, and then it blew my mind!”. This semester, Ruth is teaching two courses: Gender in Medieval Western Europe and Gender and Religion in the Early US. She is thrilled to be teaching in these areas because she hopes to excite the same passion for learning that was ignited in her first gender history class.
For decades, Ruth has been dedicated to a career in education, and has worked in several different contexts, including adjunct teaching at Northeastern University, professional advising, and test preparation. Ruth’s varied background made building relationships with students vital to her. She decided to teach high school students because she loves how “everything is a little bit new” to them: “I love how much you end up changing between freshman year and senior year. I just think it’s such an amazing period of growth personally, intellectually, emotionally. I think it’s a dynamic period of time, a really fun period of time, and I want to be part of it.” She decided to work at Concord Academy in particular because of the people, as she explained: “It’s going to sound really simple but everyone was kind. Everyone was really kind.”
Outside of teaching, Ruth is a loving mother of a six-year-old non-binary child. She states, “being a mom is my reason for being.” She is even starting to teach them history, which Ruth finds such an exciting moment for her as both an educator and a mother, to be able to share the professional side of her life with her child.
When asked what she looks forward to in the future, Ruth answered,“to see my current freshman graduate, that’s going to be really cool!” She also expressed a desire to become part of the CA community and bring a passion for history, for teaching, and “another caring adult” to school. Ruth said she was ready to jump in anywhere and help out, “whether that’s driving a minibus to apple picking or teaching history.”