Canterbury’s Classic Men

“A successful father will produce a child greater than himself.” -Troy Vincent

Based on my five years as a Canterbury parent, I am touched by the fathers’ participation at the school. The definition of the word “classic” is “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” Canterbury fathers are indeed “classic.” They are engaged, involved and committed in helping shape the direction of the school and of their children’s lives.

When I was growing up my mother worked, attended PTA meetings and found time to chaperone field trips. I don’t recall a time, however, when my dad jumped for excitement to attend field trips or made himself available for parent meetings without being told “you need to go.”

In fact, growing up in the early 80’s, I don’t recall fathers overall volunteering as much as they do now. If I had never become a parent, I think my perception would have continued to be that women bear the sole responsibility of volunteering in schools. Things are different today, however; and Canterbury dads, in particular, seem very engaged. When I view the fathers at Back-to-School Night, Community Dinners, family picnics and committee participation, the men at Canterbury stand out.

Edmund Fitzgerald

Edmund Fitzgerald

Chip Bristol

Chip Bristol

Albert Som-Pimpong

Albert Som-Pimpong

Stanley Harrison

Stanley Harrison

Bob Buccini

Bob Buccini

I also am impressed by the male faculty at Canterbury. I see the school continuing to increase its numbers of male teachers and staff members, and they serve as wonderful role models for our children. Looking back, the first time I noticed a male teacher in my school was not until I was in 7th grade wood-working class. The presence of male teachers gives young males (and females) a new perspective in their education, and I am glad to see that times have changed.

Unlike Canterbury, many schools face the challenges of male participation in programs. Some seek out resources such as National Center for Fathering, All Pro Dad, PTA, National Fatherhood Initiative and The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. These organizations cite research supporting the idea that children perform better in school when their fathers are involved in the school community.

Canterbury School does a wonderful job bringing dads into the school community to enjoy quality time with their children. Father’s Chapel, Father’s Lunch, and the Father Daughter dance are just a few of the opportunities for engaging dads. This is one of the many things that makes Canterbury and its men outstanding — a “classic” example of the impact they can make at their children’s schools and in their children’s lives.

“We share the same values that Canterbury instills in our children. We do not have to worry when they are in school because it is the same message of inclusiveness and kindness that we want them to hear and perceive.” Bolaji Bakare

“What our children learn at Canterbury goes far beyond academics. They are taught self-confidence, empathy and inclusiveness. Led by loving and invested teachers, their character is shaped in a way that lines up perfectly with the intent Jane and I have in raising our children.” Billie Pope

“Canterbury develops the whole child, not just the academic side. Inclusiveness and growing spiritually are equally important. I also like the fact that the athletic teams have a  ‘no cut’ policy. Every child who wants to compete has the opportunity. These things allow for the development of a well-rounded individual.” Jim McKee
“I see my daughter coming into her own, and I have to think that the Canterbury motto of ‘To Learn, to Love, to Serve: to Live’ has become a part of who she is through every great teacher and every great experience she’s had.”  Kevin Spencer

natellNa’Tell  L. Miller is a Canterbury Parent to Natalya I. Jones (5th – Niegelsky). She values the nurturing environment Canterbury offers students along with the education. When time permits, she enjoys a quiet room watching ESPN Films: 30/30. 


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