Ashton MacSaylor

High School English Teacher

How many years have you worked at Oak Grove?

I began teaching at Oak Grove School in 2016.

Why do you work at Oak Grove?

I work at Oak Grove because this is a place that encourages us to be fully aware—of ourselves, of our world, of each other, and of the values that connect us all. Oak Grove, to me, represents the heart of the idea of “Ojai” that I grew up with. It is a place where all are honored and welcome, a place that values trust and cooperation and rejects fear and competition, a place where I get to watch growing minds flower into their full potential. I work at Oak Grove because I feel at home here.

A quote that inspires your approach to your job.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Where is your special spot on campus?

Right behind my classroom, there is a small table under an oak tree where I can feel the breeze, where I can hear the kindergarten children playing, and where I can still have easy access to all my things in my classroom.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea.

Which teacher in your life affected you greatly? How?

I had a high school teacher named Dr. Judson. He taught Economics, and I got a worse grade in his class than just about any other class I ever took. But he didn’t care. He got me, in a way that few others did, and he gave me certain compliments that I will always remember, because by doing so he gave me the words to name character strengths in myself that would become defining traits as I went forward into my life.

Name something that nobody knows about you.

I used to drive big rig trucks.

Person (dead or alive, famous or not) that you’d most like to share a meal with.

J. R. R. Tolkein

Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t yet.

Mongolia.

Favorite Oak Grove expression?

“Friendly reminder.”