October 1, 2021
Now in his twelfth year of teaching Friars, Mr. Alex Holmberg is a Fenwick alumnus (Class of ’05), Social Studies Department Chair and the school’s Activities Director.
What is your educational background?
AH: I grew up in Oak Park and attended St. Giles School. I then went to Fenwick High School and Illinois Wesleyan University, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics. I completed my master’s degree and teaching certification at National Louis University in Chicago, and I recently finished my Administrative Licensure at Concordia University in River Forest.
What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at Fenwick?
AH: Before teaching full time at Fenwick, I was completing my master’s degree at National Louis University, substitute teaching around the Chicagoland area, coaching at Fenwick (football and wrestling), and driving school buses for Fenwick.
What are you currently reading for enjoyment?
AH: Leadership: In Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Nudge: The Final Edition, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom?
AH: I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, especially my two children, Ryan (3) and Nora (1). I am a big sports fan (Bears, Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks), and I enjoy staying active in my free time.
To what teams and/or clubs did you belong as a student?
AH: At Fenwick, I was a captain of the football team and a wrestler. I also participated in the NHS. At Illinois Wesleyan, I was also the captain of the football team.
Which clubs/sports/activities do you run at Fenwick?
AH: At Fenwick, I am our Clubs and Activities Director as well as the Social Studies Department Chair.
What quality/characteristic marks a Fenwick student?
AH: A Fenwick student is able to balance grit and determination with a profound empathy for others. Fenwick students are known to accomplish a lot during their time here, but the lifelong relationships that are formed in the halls of this place really start with the empathy students are able to show towards each other.
When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?
AH: I had always wanted to be a teacher, but I originally envisioned that as a path later in life. After graduating during the 2008-09 financial crisis, I had a decision to make about whether to try to wait out a struggling labor market without great employment prospects, or to take action and pursue the opportunity to work with students. I chose the latter, and I have not regretted my decision in the slightest. I always knew I wanted to work in a highly engaged setting with like-minded and mission-driven individuals, and working at Fenwick has given me an opportunity to do just that.
What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your teaching?
AH: I believe resilience in the face of the past two years has helped me to refocus my energies within the classroom on relationship building and the importance of creating a strong community to support student development.Continue reading “Faculty Focus: October 2021”