Jesse Purvis decided to become a teacher during his days working at CYO camp while he was in college.
Each month the Teacher Spotlight highlights one of Scecina's staff members who inspire our students every day.
Name: Jesse Purvis ’06 (senior class president at Scecina)
College/University: Wabash College
Degree: Bachelor of Arts, English Literature
Current position: Chair, English Department
Subjects: AP Literature, English 12, and English 10 Honors. Will teach all English 10 and English 10 Honors for 2016-17.
Other positions at Scecina: Boys varsity soccer head coach; Brain Game moderator; Academic Super Bowl English coach
Family: Son of Peggy and Jeffrey Purvis. Sister Randi Purvis is a 2002 graduate of Scecina. Jesse will marry Mackenzie Neu on July 16, 2016.
Why did you become a teacher?
It wasn’t what I had intended on doing during college, but after working at CYO camp during the summer of 2007 I realized a lot of my colleagues were going into teaching. A major reason was because they loved being with kids and teaching them about camp and allowing them to experience the outdoors. I also shared this joy and decided to get into teaching my sophomore year of college.
What do you like best about teaching?
Seeing the “light turn on” in the students after wrestling with a tough concept. I also enjoy giving kids the avenue towards creative expression, particularly in literature. Reading a good book or watching a fabulous film inspires us to be creative, and I like giving that experience to kids.
Why do you teach?
I think one of our greatest threats to society is the risk of individuals being under-educated as a result to all sorts of factors. If I can inspire kids to develop a want to learn and to be inspired while also teaching them the tools they can use in communication and writing, then I feel like I have done my job well.
What is it about English literature that interests you?
During my freshman year of college, I took a multi-cultural English literature class. It essentially took the “whiteness” out of literature, and we read great works from writers of all sorts of different ethnicities. The voices of each author resonated with me and made me realize all humans suffer and receive joy from the same human emotions, and it is the culture that dramatically affects us for better or worse.
What do you want to convey to students?
All that has been mentioned above in order to develop their own voice and be able to communicate that.
What’s your favorite book?
"The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
What advice do you have for parents of high school students?
Parents will see an amazing change in their children that will instill the tools they need to be successful, so trust the process!
What would you go on a crusade for? In other words, what are you passionate about?
I am passionate about education that takes a holistic approach. My goal is to open a Catholic school that is modeled from the Medieval Monasteries. It is a school that harvests the land, works in astronomy, and focuses on rhetoric and creativity.