Teacher Feature: Ben Whitermore


By Umar Samdani, Co-T/E Life Editor

Before quarantine, Ben Whitermore joined his wife and friends once every two weeks for a game of Dungeons and Dragons, a strategy table-top adventure. As the dungeon master, Whitermore would lay out the story of the game and creates challenges that all the other players would have to face. For the dungeon master and his friends, play could go on for months, and the longest game lasted two years. 

“We usually only stop when the story gets stale and we want to just wrap it up. Then we like to start again with something fresh,” Whitermore said. “So the one we’re playing in right now we’ve only played for three or four months, and it looks like we’re only in the early stages.” 

When it came to his profession, Whitermore was not always sure what path to choose. In his freshman year of college, Whitermore was looking for a profession in the field of medicine, so he entered a Physician Assistant program. After a year of training, however, Whitermore decided that he wanted to try something different. 

“I was thinking, ‘am I going to be happy for the next 25 years doing this?’” Whitermore said. “I decided that [medicine] wasn’t going to bring me that joy. So I turned back to reading and thought, ‘this is something that I am good at. This is something that I really enjoy.’ So why not try and help other people find that joy as well?”

Currently, Whitermore teaches Accelerated Literary Foundations and American Voices. This year will be his seventh year teaching at Conestoga. Outside of teaching, Whitermore cooks acorn squash, plays frisbee golf, and runs outdoors.

Whitermore is a fan of movies that contain a lot of symbolism. He has watched multiple ‘spaghetti Westerns’, Western movies set in Italy, such as Cool Hand Luke and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. According to Whitermore, the aloof nature of the protagonist makes these movies appealing. 

“You never really find out much about these characters. They’re kind of on the margins of society,” Whitermore said. “I’m into that for the same reason that people like Batman – he’s kind of the anti-hero and people connect with that for some reason.”

Above all of his other hobbies, Whitermore is passionate about reading. For all of his life reading has been a constant support and means of connection. 

“I know it’s kind of lame for an English teacher to say that, but it’s definitely true. Reading has always been a stabilizing force in my life. It always helps to see characters that have gone through similar struggles as me, in fiction or nonfiction,” Whitermore said. “So that’s always going to be something that’s important to me, no matter if I’m 29 or 75.”