Among many compelling aspects of the school is the Religion Pillar, a core set of programs that kindled my desire to teach at EHS. Of course, as a religion major and recent seminarian, I am rather biased. But I do have a deep and abiding conviction that religious inquiries are central to the human condition and should be prioritized in educational settings more than they typically are. At EHS, students are able to both experience religion in a worship setting and study religion as an academic discipline — two opportunities that the vast majority of their high school peers in this country do not have.
I appreciate independent and critical thinkers in my courses. Students sometimes expect that religious education requires conformity, but I try to push back against this notion. Of course, my students are expected to show me that they are working hard and engaging the content. But I really value students who are willing to ask hard questions and not simply accept the material at face value.
As a senior in college, I was required to propose and complete an independent project outside of my discipline in order to graduate from the honors program. When I proposed a screenwriting project through which I would write my own Seinfeld episode based on personal experiences, the honors committee accepted my proposal but determined that I could only write a few scenes of good quality given the short timeframe. I decided that day that I would, in fact, write the whole episode, and to the surprise of the committee, I did. Defying their expectations gave me more than a little satisfaction.