Profile: Jonathan St. Cyr

Currently: Museum Teacher at the New Hampshire Historical Society

About a half hour into my first course with Professor Reeder, which also happened to be my first day attending university, he told the entire class to gather their things, step into the hall, and contemplate for five minutes whether we really wanted to remain on his roster. Those who did not could simply walk away without the “embarrassment” of doing it in front of him. His point was this: “I expect a lot from you and those who are not willing to give me your very best will not be a good fit for the course.” Some left but I am glad I stayed.

I would be lying if I said I knew what to expect when I entered Dr. Cooper’s history program. I thought it would be similar to what I encountered in high school; a constant stream of facts supported by calendar dates on page after page of textbooks. What I found was that Dr. Cooper was not interested in textbooks, but in allowing us to think openly about what was written on the pages of primary source material, such as the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Thomas Jefferson. This ability to think for yourself not only allows you to expand your mind, but gives you the confidence to question ideas regardless of the source.

On top of this, Dr. Cooper and Professor Reeder have a great desire to get to know their students on a personal level. Their office doors are always open to students who want to talk about a TV show that was on the night before, a movie that just hit the screen, or simply blow off steam, and I know that yhe other faculty members at Liberty Harbor Academy will have open door policies as well.

In short, my self-confidence would not be nearly as high today if I did not enroll in the academic program offered by Dr. Cooper and Professor Reeder. I am a great example that if you are willing to accept the challenge you will face, you will leave with a renewed sense of who you are. I will say it again: I am glad I stayed.