Canfield to Retire [April Fools!]
After 26 years of filling Pace students’ heads with knowledge, inappropriate jokes, and good-humored jabs, Upper School English teacher Mr. Canfield will be retiring. Before joining Pace, Mr. Canfield taught at the New York Military Academy and St. Paul’s School for Boys for a combined 13 years. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and even spent a year in Vietnam. He graduated from Dusquesne University in Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in both education and English.
Canfield has been a legacy of sorts at the Academy. Many Knights have had a class in his magnificently decorated classroom and have experienced his eccentric teaching style. He’s helped fresh-faced freshmen adjust to high school and senior economics students prepare for college life. “He once asked me if I was going to college to get my MRS degree,” said senior Laney Gaskin, “and I realized that was exactly what I want to do in college! Get hitched!” Freshman Carolina Abdullah said, “I will never forget the times when we would play tricks on Canfield — he could never believe his colorblind eyes that our sweet class would try to fool him.”
Mr. Canfield’s loving derision has touched more students than just those at Pace. Through driver’s ed, a riveting and challenging course that Mr. Canfield has taught for many years, various Westminster and Lovett students have been inspired by the teaching they encountered. “I had never before had a teacher who could bang on a Stop sign in class to wake me up while fast forwarding a video about the importance of sobriety while driving a boat,” said Wildcat senior Ali Patillo, “It was pure talent.”
Canfield will leave us with beloved memories of him yelling out at his students in the halls, throwing barbecues in the parking lot, and calling out our grades in class. He will also be leaving some of his paraphernalia behind. His pork giblets will go to Mrs. Strowd, his American flag to the Spanish department, and his clocks to Mr. Fleming.
After Pace, Mr. Canfield plans to start a spa water company. The choice, he said, was between staying at Pace, researching students’ sleep habits, or trying his hand at entrepreneurship. He said, “I was inspired by the spa water at the dining hall here at the Academy. I’ve always felt that the beverage business is highly intriguing.” He added that another benefit to heading up his own company is that he will be able to set the dress code. “Madras Mondays are a must!” he proclaimed.
By Grace Butler, Online Editor ’12