Athletics Meets Art History
For Derek Waid ’21, teaching has always been a core part of his identity.
Growing up in Winchendon, Massachusetts, he worked as a camp counselor during the summer, which gave him the chance to help kids learn a wide range of life skills. He took that passion for education with him to Elms, where he is a double major in history and secondary education, with a minor in fine arts.
“I can’t see myself doing anything else,” says Derek, who is currently student teaching at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. “Elms does a great job giving you all the tools you need to succeed in a classroom environment. It’s really fulfilling and exciting.”
While Derek has found it easy to make friends within his major—he cofounded The Teacher’s Lounge—he also branched out as a student athlete his freshman year. Running cross country was his way of tapping into the social side of being a college student.
“Running on the team helped me tremendously in making great friends and forming good habits,” he said. “Our team culture is a close one, and we often meet in the library to study, or run with each other during the offseason. It serves as a great outlet.”
The small community that Derek encountered at Elms helped him not only form connections, but also establish his independence. Taking a fine arts elective was his chance to pursue his love of drawing, he said. He ended up loving it so much that he added fine arts as a minor, and plans on incorporating art history into his future classes.
“I will always appreciate my time at Elms,” he said. “The people I met, the experiences I had, and the memories I made helped prepare me for the challenges of being an adult. I’ll always remember them.”