Benjamin Corcoran

Math and Science Teacher, Jackson Hole Classical Academy

Since graduation, I’ve worked as a teacher and administrator at a number of classical academies in Texas—spending time in both the Great Hearts and Valor systems—and now, back “home” in Wyoming, I can look back on what I’ve achieved so far and see how much of it came from my alma mater.

I’ve worn many hats and developed many skills since my time in Lander, and that growth is tied directly to the way Wyoming Catholic College fed my interests as a student and gave me the freedom and encouragement to explore those interests. Whether it be working in school administration, mentoring and coaching new teachers, creating syllabi, or designing and facilitating workshops for the various educational networks I’ve called home, my experiences with the original texts and great works of the Western tradition (and the leadership skills I developed in the Outdoor Program) have been vital to my success. Learning how to read well and deeply, how to discuss often-difficult ideas and resolve issues in a persuasive and joyful way—even the appreciation for talking with others face-to-face rather than through the “filtered, curated” lenses of socials media that was cultivated in me by the College’s technology policy—have all played a significant part in where I am today.

An educator needs to be a generalist. Even someone who’s carved out a career as a specialist must have a love of and appreciation for the deeper, most fundamental questions. Teachers must see and appreciate the connections between disciplines; they must be able to recognize and bring out and pass along those “hyperlinks” to their students. The kernel of my success as a teacher is that is that I love to learn, and you can’t be a good teacher if you don’t love to learn. But seeing the interconnectedness and integration of thought was vital to my development as a teacher.

Quite simply, my love of learning comes directly from my time at Wyoming Catholic, and I’m forever indebted to her for that.