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Craig Ough, LL’19 and LL’22 Scholar Proust Questionnaire

Craig Ough Leadership Lab, Leadership Programs, Pedagogy of Leadership Interview, Pedagogy Of Leadership®, Student Leadership

  1. Who are your favorite writers?

Reading was not easy for me and books by Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman were the first I enjoyed and laughed aloud to. Currently on the nightstand: “At What Cost” by David Gleason and “A Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack” from the International Mountain Biking Association.

  1. Who are your heroes in real life?

Mizan Khan was my college math teacher who helped me turn a weakness into a strength; and now here I am, teaching it and hopefully not doing too much damage. Ron Finley for fighting a system with vegetables.  Jim Craig because I watched him save 39 shots on goal in the 1984 Olympics when I was 10.  And finally Lizzie Deignan who won the first Paris Roubaix Femmes and one of the greatest solo attacks ever on two wheels. 

  1. Who or what motivated you to become an educator?

Melissa Alfred.  She’s a friend, teacher, hockey player, fellow Biologist and just a dash of punk rock.  I wasn’t happy working in environmental consulting and she suggested I check out teaching in independent schools. Here I am… 20 years later.  

  1. Your idea of happiness…

There’s a moment at the end of a long hike that comes after the distance and elevation is done, after the tent is set up, and after the meal is cooked. You can finally sit, reflect, and most importantly, take the boots off.  Reapply the metaphor as appropriate.  

  1. In a nutshell, what is your definition of leadership?

The ability to use one’s unique character strengths to bring others together. 

  1. What do you most value in your friends?

How much they enjoy play and discovery.  Their interest in ideas and discussion. 

  1. What do you do for self-renewal?

Some combination of isolation, creation, and exercise.  This may be in the form of gardening, riding and/or fixing bikes, and hiking. Oh, and eating. Good food is renewing. 

  1. Who is your hero/ heroine of fiction?

Oddly, I might go with Ferdinand the Bull (from the original children’s book). As a kid, I admired his love of the simple things and comfortable nonconformity. As an adult, and outside the context of the plot, I’ve enjoyed learning the peaceful bull’s book was controversial and banned… for being peaceful.  

  1. What is your current state of mind?

A mix of exhaustion and elation.  I just finished running leadership workshops the week of writing this and headed into another, busier week.  The workshops were an amazing experience, but I can’t take my boots off just yet.  

Craig Ough is currently in his ninth year at Rumsey Hall, a K–9 day and boarding school in Washington, CT. He teaches math, runs an eighth-grade boys’ dorm, oversees the Upper School Community Service programming, Outdoor Education programming, and is the chair of Rumsey Hall’s Social Curriculum Department. Through these roles, Craig guides school-wide planning around character and leadership, which includes a ninth-grade community engagement and leadership class providing practical experience in team building, project design, and entrepreneurship.