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. Tolkien.

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

Mongolia.

Favorite Oak Grove expression?

“Friendly reminder.”