5 Questions With Faculty: Cameron Ayres

1. How did you come to Chatham Hall?
I grew up here. I am from Chatham and my mother, Madame Mary Lee Black, began teaching French at Chatham Hall in 1980.
My stepfather, Dr. William Black, joined the English department in 1982. As a faculty child, I was actually offered a place in the Class of 1993, but went to Woodberry Forest instead. In 2016, I happened to be living in town working as an adjunct theatre professor in North Carolina when the School needed someone to come in mid-year to teach dance. In the eight years since, I’ve spread into photography, senior English electives, yoga, and now theatre.

2. What excites you most about being an educator?
As a graduate student teaching fellow, there was a line in a book that I often taught that has always encapsulated this for me: “Learning is the highest form of play.” I love to be in the classroom or rehearsal room with a group of our “curious thinkers” teasing out ideas and new ways of looking. I love it when my students shake me from a preconceived notion and make me see things with fresh eyes.

3. What’s your favorite class or campus responsibility?
Trick question! I love all my classes. Actually, my favorite thing is the same as when I was in high school: theatre. I am so happy to get to come together with a group of artists to tell stories and make worlds, to compose with time and space.

4. What’s your favorite item in your classroom?
My posters. Right now, my particular favorite is of Joni Mitchell. Most students have been convinced that it was an odd photo of Taylor Swift. When a senior walked into my room this fall and said “I love Joni Mitchell,” I was pleasantly floored.

5. What’s your favorite Chatham Hall tradition?
The Lantern Ceremony. It remains as magical for me now as it was when I was a child. It also has a bittersweet edge, as it is the last night of school, the last night when we will be together in that particular configuration of community.
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •  admissions@chathamhall.org
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9-12 in the Episcopal tradition.

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