Mrs. Michele Winham’s love for history goes back for many years, as does her love for teaching. Although she is a familiar face in Seabury Hall’s middle school, Winham is now also bringing her knowledge to the upper school where she is teaching a section of US history to juniors.
Winham, along with her family, have all been a part of the Seabury Hall community for many years. Her husband, Scott, is the head of the upper school and also a math teacher, and her daughter, Veronica is a senior (Veronica is also a writer for the Seabury Tides).
Winham attended Fair Haven Union High School in Fair Haven, Vermont. After graduation, she went to St. Michael’s College where she majored in history and secondary education, as well as minored in philosophy.
Winham said that she has always loved history, and it has been a subject that she enjoys to teach as well. “I’ve always loved history because to me it’s just story on top of story on top of good story. I think everybody loves an underdog, so I like American history,” said Winham.
Before Winham and her family moved to Maui, she and her husband both taught in Vermont for seven years before moving to Hawaii.
Winham loves getting to teach young people. “I just love working with young people, so this seemed like a perfect way to marry those two interests,” she said.
One of Winham’s current juniors Kanen LaMonica says that he likes Winham because of her enthusiasm with teaching. “She really likes teaching, she likes the subject, she knows really what she’s talking about,” he said. LaMonica also went on to add what he thinks makes Winham stand out as a teacher: “The way that she talks, [she uses] so much emphasis.”
Not only does Winham like history in general but she also thinks it’s a very important aspect in life that all people should learn and know about.
Winham stated, “I think, especially in American History, there is the idea that the information that we are discussing in class is going to potentially help make the country a better place…I don’t take that lightly I think that democracy isn’t a spectator sport, and the more people feel invested in what’s going on, the better place we’ll all find ourselves.”
One thing that Winham says has made her a better teacher is having children. She says that looking back at how she interacted with young children as well as adults prior, she says that becoming a mother gave a new perspective to her with understanding the struggles that kids go through. It also gave her a sense of being on a team.
If Winham was not a teacher in the Seabury’s history department, she said it would be interesting to work in the school’s admissions department. She expressed admiration towards that department because of the way that they can influence and shape the community. “I think it would be exciting to be a part of that process,” she shared.
In addition for a passion in history, Winham also loves to pursue her interests in hiking and photography. She also says that she loves to swim. Winham especially likes to participate in those activities here on Maui because of the diversity. There is more opportunity to engage in outdoor activity, and more of a sense of safety.
One piece of advice that Winham can give to someone coming to Seabury or who is at Seabury and who wants to achieve greater success is the importance of finding your voice. She said, “You have to find your voice, and for a lot of people that can be very scary, but you have to feel safe enough here that when things aren’t clicking to go to someone and say that things aren’t clicking, because there is a nice support network here, but if you’re passive in your own pursuit of excellence, then it’s not gonna happen.”