Scott Winham, head of the upper school at Seabury Hall, is not only inspirational to his students, but also inspirational to his neighbors, encouraging them to up their game when it comes to decorating their front yards for the holidays. When I sat down with Winham in early October, he was the first in his Pukalani neighborhood to break out the Halloween decorations, complete with a bone yard dog and a spooky cemetery. Winham is in charge of the upper school, and he is also the geometry honors teacher. He gets students to work hard and push their limits.
How long have you worked at Seabury Hall?
This is my sixteenth year, two years as a math teacher [and] something like eight years as the dean of students, and this is my sixth year as the upper school head.
What brought you to Seabury Hall?
Well, I was teaching math and coaching several sports in Vermont. We just had my daughter, and the positions were presented to me by a friend of mine who happened to see it online, for a math teacher and a [basketball and soccer] coach, so I came to do those things. I was allowed to live on campus, which was a very good situation for my family. That’s what brought us here. Then my wife started working here, so we stayed.
What does the head of upper school entail?
I’m responsible for all the upper school programs, so all the stuff that happens in the classes and all the extracurriculars. Pretty much anything the upper school is involved with I’m responsible for. That’s broad, I know.
What does being the Geometry Honors teacher entail?
Well, that entails trying to take the students who really want to challenge themselves in math and to try to keep them inspired and motivated and enjoying what they’re learning.
Between those two positions, which do you prefer more?
I like it all. I like interacting with the students, and both positions give me an opportunity to do that. There are elements of both that I really enjoy, and there are elements of both that I don’t enjoy. Pretty much the thing I don’t enjoy the most is the paperwork. But the thing I enjoy the most is interacting with the students, and other faculty.
What is something interesting about you that students would be surprised to learn about?
We really enjoy decorating our house for the holidays. We have a lot of our halloween decorations up for people that drive by.
What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
I think I like the creativity. Everyone sort of has the opportunity to think outside the box and be creative. Seeing what people do for Halloween in terms of decorations and costumes. The scary part is fun and all, but I like seeing what other people come up with.
Do you have any advice for students in planning for their future?
I would say students should work hard at what they love to do, and also develop the ability to work hard at what they need to do. Even though they don’t necessarily love it, they might find a passion in there that they didn’t even realize existed. But the most important thing is to not do nothing. Be active, not just physically active, but active in your mind. And you know, try things and pursue things that you are really passionate about.