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Patrick Bonis Faculty Profile: The Adventure Of Teaching

December 3rd, 2018 by Sarah Pfeffer

Patrick Bonis joined South Kent in 2005 when the School needed a Spanish I teacher. “I had some experience with teaching and learning the language,” he notes. But like many teachers at South Kent, Mr. Bonis is a man of many talents. He now teaches Physical Science and is the “Call to Adventure” Affinity Group Coordinator.

From teaching students to levitate Legos using magnetic force to leading groups to climb the highest point in the Rocky Mountains, Bonis is a proponent of meaningful, experiential learning and teaches leadership skills through the concepts of teamwork and grit. Those who have taken Bonis’s classes or participated in his extracurricular programs are likely to remember his outdoor challenges, especially those in the dark. “Our nighttime navigation mission is always a crowd pleaser. The boys are dropped in the woods at night and instructed to find their way to certain coordinates. The level of excitement is always great to witness,” he says.

Bonis is truly a teacher of boys, and his fresh, hands-on, differentiated approach to learning is impactful. A member of the South Kent faculty for 13 years, what continues to fuel Bonis as a teacher is witnessing the success of his students “on any level.” Moreover, he deeply values “the connections I get to make with some of these amazing young men,” many of whom he remains in touch with and continues to encourage well after Prize Day.

Always humble, Bonis says there is “nothing special” about him, but that his greatest accomplishments are not measurable. “My hope is that I can offer words of encouragement to others, and spur them on. But my words are only words; their actions are the true success,” he says. “So I am proud when I witness others reach their goals!”

True to his passion for the outdoors, Bonis is often seen in his yard on campus spending time with his family. He calls raising a family on campus “great” and appreciates the safe environment on the Hillside. “I feel our country has been losing its neighborhoods. Letting the kids out the door, and giving a whistle when I want them home is a great feeling,” Bonis says of his children. With many other faculty children to play with and 180 older “brothers” to watch over them, the Hillside is a truly unique place. Bonis adds: “South Kent provides a safe, nurturing, and diverse environment for my family to witness and grow from. So I love the neighborhood.”

For the encouragement, inspiration, and sense of adventure he brings to campus, the neighborhood loves Mr. Bonis right back.

Posted in the category General.

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