Behind the History: Parkhouse Brings Learning to Life

An important component of Parkhouses teaching style is the use of historical document to help students engage with key artifacts.

Bianca Gracia

An important component of Parkhouse’s teaching style is the use of historical document to help students engage with key artifacts.

Bianca Gracia, Reporter

WOODBURY — Scott Parkhouse is a history teacher here at Nonnewaug High School, and teaches different history courses on campus with a common goal in every class he teaches: bringing history to life. 

Jenna Barnes, junior, had Parkhouse as a History Through Film teacher.

“His class was fun,” Barnes says. “He is a nice person that you can talk to if you don’t understand something.”

Beyond the classroom, Parkhouse’s family life includes a son in fourth grade and a daughter in third grade, a family that keeps him especially busy. 

“Sometimes it’s going to something my kids are involved in– sports, church, etc.,” Parkhouse said. “Sometimes it’s working outside — mowing lawns and doing odd jobs for people.”

Parkhouse’s current life means he’s more than busy with balancing family and teaching, but what did Parkhouse want to do before he became a teacher? 

“[I considered doing] a lot of different things,” he said. “I worked at my lawn service, which I still do today. I worked a few different jobs and also did an internship in sales while I was in college. [I considered] all kinds of different things, I guess. I wanted to work for a railroad at one point, but I honestly never really knew for sure what I wanted to do.”

For those who have had Parkhouse as a teacher, and for those who call him a colleague, many are glad he chose his current field in education.

“I love to work with Mr. Parkhouse,” said Rebecca Trzaski, Parkhouse’s colleague in the history department. “He holds the students’ best interests at heart. He is incredibly hard-working and always pushes me to think about situations from another perspective.”

“The best part of teaching,” Parkhouse notes, “[is] seeing students learn about our country’s founding documents — the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights — and apply what they have learned to today’s world.”

Pictured left, one of Parkhouse’s favorite activities is hanging out with fellow teachers and being active in sports like basketball. (Kathy Brenner )

“Mr. Parkhouse is a nice person to be around,” says Marisa Christoff, the NHS history department chair. “He has helped the department in the planning and organization of our Veteran’s Day commemoration every year.”

There are many things Parkhouse has come to love about the art of teaching. This past year in particular was a challenge as he noticed a vital component of the learning experience was missing: student ability to develop social skills.

“[I think we missed] students talking to each other and listening to other people’s ideas,” Parkhouse notes when reflecting back on last school year. “[It’s important] to be aware that there are people who have other ideas and to consider them — even ideas that are not considered to be ‘popular.’ I realized how important this was when we all went remote — because it was missing. This is why we need to be in school.”