After 14 years of teaching at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Upper School English teacher John Wensman is moving on to his fourth teaching job to become educational director at a school in Maine.
Wensman began teaching at SPA after teaching at the Casablanca American School in Morocco: “I had been teaching in Morocco for two years, and I was coming back to Minnesota, and I saw an ad online and I applied because one, I knew it was a great school and two, I needed a job in Minnesota because we were coming back home,” Wensman said.
Looking back on his time at SPA, Wensman will remember the times when his students exceeded his expectation and took risks with assignments.
“Some of my favorite [memories] are final projects where students go so far beyond what I had expected when I constructed the project that everyone is kind of dumbfounded,” he said. Though he admits that this is something that occurs less now than it used to. “I have a general sense of students being less willing to take risks; there is more anxiety around grades and more ‘What do you want me to do?’ versus, ‘What can I make out of this?” Wensman said.
After leaving SPA, Wensman will become the Educational Director for the Coastal Studies for Girls program in Freeport Maine. The program, which is only four and a half years old, is a science and leadership focused semester school for girls.