Dominican laity member Gerald Lordan, PhD., O.P., entering his 51st year in education in 2019, says he is proud to teach at Fenwick, ‘America’s national lighthouse for Thomism.’
What is your educational background?
GL: I have a BA in political science from Northeastern University, Boston (minor in secondary education); MEd in elementary education from the University of Maryland (minor in reading); and PhD in curriculum and instruction from Boston College (minor in administration).
What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?
GL: I was principal at St. Bernardine School in Forest Park, IL, and assistant principal at St. Luke School in River Forest, IL. I also was an instructor of graduate school education at Rosary College [now known as Dominican University] in River Forest and have taught elementary school in Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
GL: I am reading three books: fiction by Richard Russo, a mystery by Alan Furst and history by David Halberstam.
What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
GL: I enjoy small-craft boating, hiking and mountaineering.
To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
GL: I played football, basketball and soccer.
Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?
GL: Presently, I moderate the Investment Club and Mock Trial.
What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?
GL: A commitment to moral servant leadership.
"In 1968 ... I perceived a direct causal relationship between illiteracy and antisocial behavior."
When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?
GL: I decided to become a teacher in the summer of 1968. I was working in an alternative residential juvenile detention facility operated by the Providence Boys’ Club. I perceived a direct causal relationship between illiteracy and antisocial behavior.
What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?
GL: I have the benefit of a deep philosophical, theoretical training in educational theory, curriculum and instruction.
What are your favorite classes to teach?
GL: I most enjoy teaching American history. This is the only class every student in every high school in every state must pass to receive a high school diploma.
What is your philosophy of education?
What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?
GL: I had a girl at St. Bernardine who came to us after three years of failure as the only girl in the same room, with the same teacher, in an emotional disability/behavior-disorder special education resource room. She had very low self-esteem. We got her onto the volleyball and basketball teams. She became a safety patrol officer. She went on to East Leyden High School [Franklin Park], graduated and entered the Army. She eventually made Master Sergeant. The race goes not to the swift but rather to the perseverant. I have her picture in my office.
What challenges face students today?
GL: Anonymity, social isolation, the thug culture and chronological isolation wherein adolescents tend to see only other adolescents.