TOTM: Curtis Hart-Southworth


Photo by Vicky Gunawan.

By Caitlyn Jennings, Assistant Observations Editor

It’s not easy to teach multiple subjects, sponsor a club and raise two sons, but Honors Algebra 2 and MV Calculus teacher Curtis Hart-Southworth fulfills his responsibilities with an enviably calm demeanor.

A member of the math department, Hart-Southworth began his career at WCHS in 2006, and this is his 13th year of teaching. In addition to teaching Honors Algebra 2 and MV Calculus, Hart-Southworth has taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Honors Calculus and AP Statistics. Having taught all these courses, Hart-Southworth’s knowledge of math is extraordinary.

“My favorite part about teaching math is when a struggling student experiences a breakthrough in their performance when we work together,” Hart-Southworth said. “It’s a huge gift to me whenever a student says that they understood math for the first time in my class.”

While math is a huge part of life at WCHS, Hart-Southworth recognizes that student needs go beyond the classroom.

“I think students care a lot about being treated with kindness by a teacher who understands their life,” Hart-Southworth said. “Sometimes math homework isn’t as important as MYCO, Blast or an athletic competition.”

Getting to know students is not easy, and it takes a lot of work. However, once he gets to know his students, Hart-Southworth is consistently impressed by them.

“Students have amazing things going on in their lives,” Hart-Southworth said. “For example, I just found out that one of my students is a nationally-ranked bouldering champion for her age group.”

Outside of the classroom, Hart-Southworth enjoys reading science fiction, especially the “Stone Sky” series. Some of his favorite TV series are “Game of Thrones” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” One passionate hobby that Hart-Southworth has is travelling with family.

“I like getting off the beaten path and experiencing cultural differences,” Hart-Southworth said. “My family has made three adventurous RV trips through Europe as well as vacations to Jamaica and St. John, USVI.”

Hart-Southworth continues to surprise his students with warmth and dedication as he goes out of his way to make personal connections with his students.

“My personal view of my role as a teacher embraces the idea of reaching students,”  Hart-Southworth said. “Of course, I care about making my math instruction as clear and rigorous as possible. But, I think students actually care more about being treated with kindness by a teacher who tries to understand what’s going on in their life.”