Dave Heldreth, Director of Student Life, took a less than traditional route to becoming a teacher. He studied engineering and physics at Oakland University and worked as an engineer for General Motors. As his passion for the outdoors became a more prominent part of his life, he decided to pursue that as a career. He spent his twenties working and guiding in wilderness areas around the world. Whether it was at the summit of Mt. Rainier or climbing ocean cliffs in Thailand, he came to realize the greatest reward was sharing his passions with students.
After marrying his adventure partner, he spent several years in rural Wyoming working for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). At NOLS Dave furthered his studies of leadership, wilderness skills, and teaching methodology while taking students into challenging and enriching wilderness experiences. Dave brought those skills to the boarding school world as a way to get more time with his students. As Wasatch Academy’s Director of Experiential Education, Dave enjoyed blending adventure, travel, and content to push his students to be engaged in their own learning.
Oliverian and the beauty of New Hampshire seemed like a perfect fit to continue having an impact in students’ lives. Dave loves to help students learn through the experiences they have both inside and outside of the classroom. Currently he is pursuing a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction while trying to manage the chaos of having young twin girls.
What do you love most about Oliverian?
“Because of our size and ratio of faculty to students, we are able to get to know our students on a level not possible at any other school. We live together, play together, work together, and grow together.”
What motivates you to work with kids?
“The only thing greater than accomplishing something great is inspiring someone else to accomplish something great. Our students are capable of so much, and their victories give you that moment of quiet pride that makes me look forward to coming to work.”