As promised, the last and final Ensworth Grind for the school year. We will be back at it in the fall with a whole new line-up of guests and hopefully some new faculty to introduce you to. In the meantime, say hello EHS history teacher Danny Wright.
You are brand new to Ensworth this year? Tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Ensworth?
I am originally from Greensboro, NC where I taught for ten years at an independent school there (my alma mater). Most recently I worked in advancement at a boys’ boarding school near Asheville, NC before coming to Ensworth. Since my wife is originally from Nashville, we knew of Ensworth and had followed the opening and growth of the high school with interest over the last several years. When a position became available in my favorite subject area — economics — I applied. I visited the school in late April of last year and was impressed by every aspect of the school culture.
What has been the most surprising thing you didn’t expect about teaching at Ensworth?
Something I knew to expect (but was unaware of the magnitude of until my first few weeks teaching here) is Ensworth’s incredibly democratic nature — input is solicited on many different levels. The students experience it in the classroom at the Harkness tables, and beyond class they have many opportunities to shape the direction of the school. I think this is important in order to facilitate their growth as independent learners. Among faculty and administration, there is a strong sense of collegiality.
What are some of the time periods you cover in your history classes?
Though I am in the History Department, I do not teach history per se — this year I taught AP Economics, Constitutional Law, and Contemporary Issues in the Americas. I used to teach AP European History and Modern World History, and my two favorite areas were Stuart England and the French Revolution.
If you weren’t teaching history what would you be doing right now?
I would probably be doing something in business in the area of sustainable real estate development. I went back to school full-time in 2006 to get my MBA with that path in mind, but I felt drawn back to independent school education while I was there — I had some great professors who forced me to think in new ways, which in turn rekindled my interest in education.
If you could be a fly on the wall in any Ensworth classroom which one would it be and why?
Probably Paul Phillips’ class. He does a lot of interesting things with Harkness discussions, and as someone new to Ensworth and the Harkness method, I believe I could learn a lot.
What faculty member at the Red Gables campus would you like to see profiled next?