Seth Snow, Integrated Language Arts major
Seth Snow graduated as an Integrated Language Arts major in 2007. He applied for a job as a seventh-grade teacher and was hired to teach a “great books curriculum.” He proceeded to teach his seventh-graders Ray Bradbury’s story “The Veldt.” Some of the administrators felt this was too difficult for these students, but when one of them, while visiting Seth’s class, asked a student who had been pointed out to Seth as hopeless case gave a very intelligent account of the story, he found that this criticism would not stand up. As the class went forward, a number of parents began reporting to him that they had never seen their children interested in reading, but they were now reading without being made to do so. In 2008, Seth was hired by Danville High School in Danville, OH, a small town of about 1,000 people. He brought the same commitment to teaching at a high level that he had shown in his previous job, but here this approach met with more favor. He has regularly taught texts like The Odyssey, Crime and Punishment, Julius Caesar, Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Antigone along with poems of Keats, Frost, Dickinson, and Tennyson. He teaches all of these texts at a high level, taking, for example, three months to do The Odyssey. This approach has paid off for him as witnessed by the fact that, when I visited him once for a discussion of The Odyssey, I found that his students knew this text far better than mine did. All these things show the incredible impact one of Ashland University’s graduates has had on the school and on the community where he is working.