One significant reason faculty members are attracted to come work and potentially raise their children at Deerfield is the strength of the dormitory and housing system in place on our campus.
According to Deerfield Academy’s website, there are eighteen dormitories and forty-five on-campus houses, all of which serve as residences for faculty members. These facilities make it possible for Deerfield to be a residential campus for most faculty members and their families.
Upon arrival, most faculty live as hall residents in a dormitory. However, many faculty members with children choose to eventually migrate to an on-campus house due to their familial needs.
Those who choose to raise their children in a dorm might be motivated by potential benefits to their children’s development that arise from living in an integrated dorm setting.
Science Teacher Rich Calhoun, with his wife and math teacher Katie Calhoun, has raised four children on Deerfield’s campus. Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun, along with their children, moved out of Pocumtuck recently. Mr. Calhoun said, “We miss raising our kids in a girls dorm, it was really fun.”
Growing up at Deerfield, faculty kids are constantly surrounded by the buzz and activity on campus during the school year.
The benefits include learning how to socialize, having entertainment, and finding role models in Deerfield students. Mr. Calhoun stated, “Everything about Deerfield has benefited our kids.”
Science Teacher Megan Washburn said that her three sons “are looking up to these kids who work really hard in the classroom and on the playing fields, and so they want to live up to those standards.”
Mrs. Washburn believes that living on a boarding school campus has positively impacted her children by making them more driven to practice sports and work hard in academics.
She often encourages them by reminding them, “This is what you need to do to become a Deerfield student one day.” They look up to many of the students that interact with them, and strive to copy that behavior.
Mrs. Washburn, along with her husband, Spencer Washburn, Associate Director of Admissions, moved to Deerfield in 2014, after spending time at the Peddie School in New Jersey.
Their decision to raise their family in an academic residential setting was greatly impacted by Mr. Washburn’s experience growing up at Phillips Andover Academy. Mr. Washburn said, “We knew that it was a great situation to be living on a boarding school campus, and certainly my experience growing up in that space contributed to my sense that it was a great place to have a family.”
Mr. Washburn was able to recall many memories from his time at Andover with great detail.
He feels as though the experiences that he had as a child on a boarding school campus were unique and special. He remembers learning certain lessons from the students he saw around him.
For example, he was greatly impacted by a specific interaction he had with a student at Andover who took the time to come and talk to him when he was a child. He stated that that moment “really stood out to me, as the way that you should treat people and the way that you should interact with people.” He added, “That really shaped how I thought about, as I got older, interacting with my siblings and my peers.”
From Mr. Washburn’s experiences and those of other faculty members, it is clear that the faculty children really do pay attention to how students behave.
Mr. Washburn shared that watching his own children look up to Deerfield students “is a good reminder to us as adults, and to us as a community that we need to hold ourselves to a great standard because there are young people watching.”
As we move on to a new year, we would all do well to keep Mr. Washburn’s advice in mind.