A: I started teaching at Ensworth in 1984 and have been part of the faculty for 27 years. The way I ended up at Ensworth is quite a story. I was working for a Hospital Supply Company where I was in charge of their distribution center. The pay was very good and I liked my job, however , what I really wanted to do was teach Physical Education. PE was my college major and my passion. I thought and talked about it a lot and decided, I really wanted to teach!! My wife finally told me that if I wanted to teach then why was I not looking for a teaching position?? DUH!!!…what a great concept!! So we started meticulously sending out 2 applications per week, both to public and private schools. To make a long story short, Ensworth responded and gave me an appointment and on the first interview I met with the Head Master (Ron Fay) . The second interview I met with six additional people – the lower, middle and upper school administrators, two athletic directors and one math teacher (Bill Kautzman)…I was completely overwhelmed. I told Rita, my wife, that Ensworth had to be really serious about who they hired on as faculty because I had talked to six people that day. ..and of course they were. Shortly after , I got a call from Ensworth and they offered me the position of PE Teacher and Coach. I could not believe that I was finally going to be a teacher! I signed a contract in August of 1984 and started teaching that September. What I did not know was that I was teaching at one of the most prestigious private schools in the city. I found that out after I became part of the faculty. You know, I would have taken a position anywhere just to have had an opportunity to teach…but to have the opportunity to teach at Ensworth that was just a pure blessing! I was and am a very enthusiastic teacher and truly appreciate having the opportunity to be a part of the Ensworth Family everyday!
Q: Tell us the history of the Superman t-shirt and “got milk” poster. How did the nickname come about?
A: When I was a little boy Superman was my favorite superhero – I watched his cartoon every Saturday morning while I ate breakfast or had a snack. I have seen all the Superman movies in the theaters, they are some of my favorite, so I sort of collect Superman memorabilia. Occasionally when we have dress code pass day, I’ll wear a Superman belt buckle, t-shirt and sweat shirt. The “got milk” was my idea. I thought… I love teaching the children and they love me, so in my book that qualifies me as a “rock star “. I needed to be in the pictures with my milk mustache like all of the other movie stars, so I hung my picture on the cafeteria’s wall with my milk mustache. Of course, someone hung it upside down … I could take two guesses, but I bet you that I’ll get it right in one.
Q: What got you into the field of physical education, and if you weren’t a PE teacher what would you be?
A: What got me into physical education was that I was a pretty good athlete and when I was in elementary school, recess was my favorite class. We didn’t have physical education back in the early 1960s. As I grew older and played competitive sports, I felt that I would love the opportunity to teach sports and coach. I felt that I had a gift with kids and I also felt that I could make my greatest contribution to society by working in the area of Physical Education. If I wasn’t a PE teacher, I would still probably want to work for an organization that worked with children like the YMCA or the Boy Scouts. My personality seems to fit perfectly when working with children – I can be kind of silly at times, however I still take care of business and hopefully move the children where they need to be.
Q: If you could be a fly on the wall in any teacher’s classroom, whose would it be and why?
A: Bill Kautzman at the Red Gable’s Campus … he is the only teacher that I know of who has Ensworth parents riding around in cars with a bumper sticker with his name on it – How special is that?? He most know something!
Q: There has been a huge national push to fight childhood obesity, what things do you think are most important in combating this problem?
A: Obviously being physically active and eating properly is the way to go! However keeping people physically active through your life span is a process not an event. First of all you have to start out with Physical EDUCATION in the early years like any other discipline. You wouldn’t teach math or science just two or three days a week because you would not get the end result of having children being competitive in a global environment. So you have to have a strong Physical Education program early on in order to educate people and help them to form good fitness habits. I tell my students that bad habits are hard to break and good habits are developed through repetition. I feel strongly that a great PE program should have a variety of activities in it to address the diversity of others . Some people like a regimental type of fitness (running, jogging, walking, exercising, etc…), some like sports, and others like a variety of activities for fitness like dancing, skating, aerobics, etc. This is why we at Ensworth have PE every day in the lower school and intramurals everyday in the middle school. If a child feels that he or she has the skills to successfully participate in a particular sport or an activity, and have fun at it, then they’ll be more likely to continue those activities later on in life.
Q: Who is a faculty member from the EHS campus that you would like to see featured next?
A: Coach Ricky Bowers.
When Coach Bowers made the decision to come to Ensworth there was so much excitement. I was asked by all kinds of people what I thought about Coach Bowers…parents, teachers, children and friends all wanted to know what I thought. Well at the time we had not met…I only new him by reputation so I could only say that I was excited too and I thought it was GREAT. Well I started to lose some of my excitement when an old teacher/coach of mine interrupted me on the golf course to ask me about what I thought about Coach Bowers coming to Ensworth. I was thinking…don’t you see I am on the golf course and need all of my concentration?? But of course I said my usual GREAT!! So now that he is here at Ensworth and has built a stellar football program I would like to hear what Coach Bowers has to say about being here at Ensworth specifically related to winning and his success as a coach.