Animated by love of learning, Concord Academy students strive for academic excellence and personal growth both as individuals and as a community. CA faculty members bring their expertise and passion to the learning experience, encouraging the development of ideas and sparking personal growth among students.
Going into his twentieth year as a teacher at CA, Ben Stumpf ’88 remarked on his love for the CA community. “[The students get] really excited about ideas, discovery, and learning.” Having been a leader himself during his student years at CA, Ben compared his past with the present, where there is now increasing attention to the scarcity of college admissions as more pressure piles up, especially with the presence of various forms of social media. His guidance and shared joy for achievements demonstrates the support and encouragement commonly found at CA, blending in curiosity with enthusiasm to each student’s personal high school career. Ben commented on the school’s ability to hire incredibly good teachers and admit distinctive students, where adaptability comes into play in resonance with CA’s chameleon mascot as the contemporary society shapes the learning environment.
The differences pertaining to CA’s campus have brought about a new dynamic to the community, creating a new balance between faculty and student relationships. Noting the construction of the Science Labs, John Pickle commented, “It made it easier to juggle, to organize and use equipment with more flexibility and space.” Having taught at CA since 2007, he witnessed the changes of the layout of campus throughout the years, notably the athletic facilities where games used to be hosted on the main campus, giving faculty the opportunity to see students not just in an academic setting, but also as athletes and individuals, without having to leave campus. The addition of the Moriarty Athletic campus has expanded athletic resources, though its distance provided a challenge for faculty to conveniently get to athletic events. Yet this has not interfered with the proximity of student-faculty relationships, where the close-knit community can still find ways to foster this bond.
Beyond the physical layout of the CA campus, strong ties between the faculty and the student body have continued to endure. The school has changed quite a bit, but one aspect that has remained constant is the Thank-you section dedicated to faculty members during senior chapels. The thanks to the community has shown the role faculty play in student’s lives. Looking back at one Centipede issue from 2003, I found that the making of signs and the hugging line at chapels came about only in the 1990s. These traditions are now often taken for granted, but they highlight the involvement faculty members have with students, even before the elaborate decorations were put into place.
The universal learning experience sheds light on the importance of embracing. “The teacher is responsible for maturing and creating an environment safe to be vulnerable,” John Pickle commented. As he puts it, we are a community of “happy nerds,” where CA faculty members are always there to not only foster academic growth, but also expand students’ horizons in a multitude of ways.