The third-grade teaching position will be filled by Cameron Bohn, who has been working at Country Day for three years: first as a long-term sub for one year, then as a lower-school assistant for a little over two years.
Q: Why did you want the position?
A: I’ve always wanted to teach third grade. I was a teacher in Montana (for) maybe five years total. I was in a Montessori classroom – a third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classroom.
So when I moved to California, my goal was always to get back into the classroom, but I had to wait until my California teaching credential (paperwork) went through. When a position here opened up, I was really excited to apply.
Q: How did you hear about Country Day?
A: My sister (middle-school Spanish teacher Maya Pelle) is a teacher here, so when I first moved here, she suggested I start subbing here while my teaching credential was still going through. I subbed at Country Day for a while. Then I got a long-term sub position, and I just fell in love with this school, the people and the kiddos – and I never left.
Q: Aren’t you related to anyone else at Country Day?
A: (History teacher Daniel) Neukom is my uncle. He’s my mom’s brother. When we were little, Uncle Dan used to babysit (me and my siblings), and he would tell us that underneath the cheese in pizza (were) monkey brains.
Q: Where have you taught before?
A: I went to Montana State University in Bozeman, and that’s where I got my elementary education degree. I taught in Montana. I worked at a Montessori school called the Bozeman Summit School in Bozeman. Before that I worked in several public schools in Bozeman. I did a lot of student teaching and shadowing. I also worked for the outdoor science school in Montana.
Q: What is a Montessori school?
A: Montessori education is a different school of education. Instead of a teacher standing at the front of a classroom with 15 kids, you do small group lessons, and the kids are divided up to complete the tasks on their own, at their own speed. There’s a lot of hands-on (learning), using manipulatives and tools. That way the kiddos can move at their own pace, and (they) compare themselves less to each other.
Q: How did you get certified?
A: I went to the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. It’s a school in Boulder, (Colorado). There are several (schools). There are also different types of Montessori education. They’re all over the place.
Q: Are you certified in all types?
A: Nope, I’m certified in the AMS (American Montessori School) school. Maria Montessori is the name of the woman who came up with Montessori Education, and since then several people have branched off of that and made their own schools of Montessori Education.
Q: Will you be using Montessori Education with the third graders next year?
A: I think I will use a little bit of the ideas in math because I think the Montessori materials can be really helpful in basic math concepts. And maybe a little bit with conflict resolution.
Q: Where are you from?
A: We moved around a ton (growing up). I was born in San Francisco, we moved to the Philippines, (and) we lived in Washington, D.C., for a while. We lived in Connecticut for a while. Then I was in Colorado for college. I went to the University of Colorado (at) Boulder.
Q: What was your favorite place to live?
A: Probably Montana. I knew I would eventually move to California, but I wasn’t quite ready to do that yet, so I moved to Montana. I was just going to stay for the summer, but I fell in love with it. I was there for 11 years.
As far as growing up, my favorite place where I lived was probably Virginia.
Q: I heard you went to Peru.
A: I graduated with my degree from University of Colorado in anthropology. So that summer, I got the opportunity to go to Stanford to do an archaeological dig in Peru. We were checking the Chavin de Huantar in Peru – that’s the name of the site. It’s roughly 3,000 years old. We excavated and took care of a lot of the artifacts. A bunch of the artifacts we found are in the Museum in Lima. We found these really cool giant carved shells that they used to communicate across the valley.
Q: I heard you went to Australia as well.
A: I did a year abroad while I was in college, and while I was there, I got a job at an aboriginal art gallery in Melbourne. I did a lot of work going to different small towns across the country to visit with aboriginal artists, picking up their artwork and bringing the art pieces back to the city to be sold in the gallery. I also helped organize events for the gallery.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I love camping, hiking, that kind of stuff. I love photography. I love art. I love Native American craft and art.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I have two dogs. I have a 15-year-old mutt (named) Kona and a seven-month-old Belgian Shepherd puppy (named) Jasper. He’s really cute, but he’s a handful.
—By Emma Boersma