Faculty Focus

Faculty Focus: August 2021

Theater Teacher/Choral Director Mr. Caleb Faille is set to begin his third, full-time school year at Fenwick.
What is your educational background?

CF: I attended K-6 at a private, Christian school in California, then my family moved across the country so I finished 7th-12th in Dawson County, Georgia. I attended Kennesaw State University, where I graduated with a bachelor’s in music education with choral concentration. 

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?

CF: After college, my best friend and I ventured from Georgia to Chicago to start our ‘big-city adventure!’ I was a visual merchandising manager at The Gap for a year before I began my teaching career at Corkery Elementary School in Little Village. I taught K-8 music, and started an after-school choral program before moving on to Stone Academy in West Rogers Park. During my time at Stone Academy, I started directing the after-school musicals here at Fenwick in the spring of 2018 with “Beauty and The Beast.” I continued directing after-school only until fall 2019, when I was brought on full time to teach choir and theatre! 

What are you currently reading for enjoyment?

CF: Right now, I’m reading two scripts for our upcoming BFG season, and lots of choral music reviews :)

What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?

CF: This summer, I’ve become obsessed with Pickleball! It’s such a fun sport and keeps me outside every day. I also love to spend time in the kitchen, play fetch with my two dogs, and spend time at my in-law’s lake house in Michigan!

To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?

CF: I was way too busy as a high school student! My day usually started with choir. I was choir president and also a member of the state champion quartet for three years. I was in art for two years and was fortunate to be selected as a student director for my senior year art show. After school, I usually had marching band rehearsals (drumline and drum major) and musical theatre rehearsals late at night! I was also in student government, and was the Youth Governor of Georgia in 2008-09 through a Y Club program called Youth Assembly.

Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?

CF: I run the Blackfriars Theatre Guild! BFG is more of a family than a club. Our season runs from August through June and has grown to include three mainstage shows (Fall Play, Banua and Spring Musical), and many small shows including Friar Fest (open-mic nights) and a Fall Musical Reading. We work in tandem with the BFG Crew, under the leadership of Dan Conlin and Toni Dactilidis, who work behind the scenes to make our shows look and sound beautiful!

What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?

CF: Commitment to excellence, the courage to try new things, and kindness are the best qualities of a Friar!

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?

CF: I decided to be a choir teacher in high school because I was so inspired by my teacher/mentor. He was down to earth, easy to talk to, and actually cared about me instead of just my participation in class. I hope to carry on his legacy of caring more about the person than the ‘product’ and encourage each of my students to be a successful, lifelong musician and learner.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?

CF: Kindness and authenticity are the things I find to be most helpful in my teaching. When I am honest and up-front with my students and it comes from a place of love, the end result is breath-taking!

What are your favorite classes to teach?

CF: Obviously, choir and theatre are my favorites -- but I really enjoy the classes where my students are engaged and inspired to change the world. 

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching (so far)?

CF: I am really proud of the way Fenwick Choir and Theatre made it through the 2020-21 school year. Not only were we able to perform more than our surrounding schools, but we gave inspired performances! I consider myself successful when students are engaged and enjoying themselves. The goal is lifelong learners, so if the students are enjoying creating art, they are more likely to continue making it into adulthood. Seeing huge smiles after a performance is the most rewarding part of my job!
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