Faculty Profile: Steve Withers
Steve is in his first year at Waynflete, coming from Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pennsylvania. He earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction and a B.S. in Secondary Education and a B.A. in Mathematics from Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. At Wilson HS, where he worked for four years, Steve taught 150 students in six classes daily.
Austin: What’s your position at Waynflete?
Steve: I’m a math teacher for the middle school and upper school and the Varsity swim coach.
Austin: Why did you start teaching?
Steve: I started teaching swim lessons when I was in 8th or 9th grade. I had always really liked math in school and I always felt as though it could be taught a lot better than if was for me, so math and education became a goal.
Austin: Do you have any particular part of math that you are especially drawn to?
Steve: I like that it is very logical and orderly and, for me, it goes along well with my way of thinking and my thought process.
Austin: Did you teach math before you came to Waynflete?
Steve: Yes, I did. I taught in Pennsylvania for 4 years at a public high school, mostly 10th and 11th grade math, that being Algebra 2 and Honors Pre-Calc. I also coached water polo there.
Austin: What’s your favorite class that you’ve ever been in or taught?
Steve: I really enjoyed teaching Honors Pre-Calc. when I was in Pennsylvania, and I still enjoy it now. It was one of those classes where I had to go back and reteach myself some of the math again and find out how I was going to get that information across to the students in the best way possible. It made me reflect on my own knowledge of mathematics as well as my skill set teaching that subject.
Austin: Did you want to teach Pre-Calc. when you came to Waynflete?
Steve: Actually I lucked out and I’m teaching Pre-Calc. accelerated and I have regular Pre-Calc. as well and I love them. They’re really fantastic classes and I enjoy teaching them.
Austin: What made you come to Waynflete?
Steve: My wife is from Freeport originally. We were living in Pennsylvania when we got married. She knew that she didn’t want to stay in Pennsylvania long and wanted to be closer to her family in Maine. So, we started looking for jobs. I started looking at schools to apply for jobs at. Everyone I talked to, including her, had nothing but great things to say about Waynflete, and it was one of the first schools to offer me an interview and eventually a job. Overall, I was very impressed throughout the application process and when I came to campus I could feel how passionate people were about teaching, learning, and how happy they were to be here. You don’t find that often, and I think that’s what made me want to work here.
Austin: Do you have any special memories that you’ve developed so far at Waynflete?
Steve: Outdoor experience was very telling of how the students at Waynflete acted and it was an experience that I never would have gotten at the public school I used to work at. It was a really neat opportunity for me to get to know the students very well and visa versa, but on top of that it was working on the nurturing and the relationships between faculty and students that shows the support Waynflete has to offer.
Austin: What trip did you participate in?
Steve: I was with the 9th graders at Chewonki.
Austin: Did you play sports in college?
Steve: I’ve swam competitively since I was 5, I did varsity swimming in college, and I played club water polo for 4 years in college as well.
Austin: Do you still participate in athletic activities?
Steve: After college I got involved in triathlons and I finished Iron Man Arizona in 2010 and the Ironman Lake Placid in 2012. I haven’t swam competitively since because of the difficulty to get pool time, especially here in Maine. I also enjoy open water swimming but Maine isn’t exactly the ideal place for that either. I’ll always go in the ocean but swimming for longer periods of time isn’t exactly the most pleasant way to experience the Atlantic Ocean. I would really like to get back into swimming but for the moment I stick to running 3-4 times per week as well as biking throughout the year except in snow.
Steve: I’d just like to say that I’m definitely learning more and more each week, and with every interaction with students and faculty I’m progressively learning about Waynflete’s supportive, enthusiastic, and welcoming environment.