Covenant recently hired Andrew Ferris as a new math and science teacher for 2018-19. Andrew will be teaching our grammar school science classes as well as Life Science and math in the upper school. He is also well equipped to teach an upper level math or science elective as the need arises. We are blessed that Mr. Ferris is able to spend the month of May at Covenant so that he can begin to get to know students and families in our community and to prepare for teaching this fall.
Tell us about your family? Where did you grow up?
I am the middle of three boys. I grew up with my parents and brothers in Chardon, Ohio, which is famous for its excessive snowfall and maple syrup industry.
Where did you go to college? What did you study?
I attended Grove City College. I majored in Biology, with a minor in Mathematics.
What are one or two books you’ve read this last year? What did you learn?
Most recently, I finished reading The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, which is a compilation of several addresses given by C.S. Lewis. Lewis’s works consistently deepen my longing for God and point me to the understanding that every desire of man can find ultimate satisfaction in God.
I also recently finished reading Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller. This book helped me better understand how we as Christians ought to approach our work, and how work is one of the ways that man can glorify God and be His image-bearer.
What have you been doing since you graduated from college?
Since graduating in December 2016, I have been working in the Bioanalytical Chemistry department at Concord Biosciences. I work in the laboratory, performing experiments on drug compounds that are in various stages of development.
How do you think your experience as a scientist will impact your teaching?
I think that my experience as a scientist gives me a more in-depth scientific knowledge, especially in the fields of biology and chemistry, and has enabled me to see first-hand how the ideas that I learned when I was in school are applied in real laboratories. This allows me to teach from experience, not merely from head-knowledge.
Also, the laboratory is a diverse workplace, made up of very different people from all over the world who have very different worldviews and values. This is very useful in understanding how different worldviews approach science, and the implications and consequences of the various mindsets. This will help me to point my students toward a proper understanding of science, which I believe will serve to increase both their knowledge and their joy in science.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on your thinking – either in person or through books?
Two professors from Grove City College immediately come to mind: Dr. Paul Munson and Dr. Julie Möller. The lessons from both of these professors, whether inside or outside the classroom, are saturated with God’s truth, ever pointing me to the Source of all wisdom. Additionally, I very much enjoy reading and learning from the works of C.S. Lewis.
What do you most want young grammar school students to learn through your science classes?
I want the young grammar school students to learn how God has given us such a good and glorious creation, by which we can praise Him. I want the study of Creation to fill them with an awe for God and a desire to continue learning more and more about it.
What are you excited about when you think about teaching upper school students at Covenant?
I am excited for the opportunity to help the upper school students get glimpses of God’s glory through the studies of math and science. I am excited to help my students understand how we as Christians ought to approach the fields of math and science, regardless of the career paths they pursue. I hope that through their studies they would not only be knowledgeable but also have a lifelong appreciation of the beauty and purpose that God has infused into His creation.
What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I enjoy partaking in good conversations, playing piano and French horn, composing music, fishing, making and throwing boomerangs, kayaking, hiking, ballroom dancing, playing volleyball, playing chess, making maple syrup and gardening.