Group of students playing soccer on the lower school playground

Faculty Spotlight: Third Grade Teacher Dennis Haupert

Dennis Haupert

Tell us about your background as a teacher at BFS: 

I grew up in a traditional, blue-collar household in the Midwest, and we were taught to appreciate our public school education. I was fortunate to have influences that encouraged me to pursue post-secondary education, where I received a degree in elementary education. After graduation, I taught Kindergarten in an independent school in Pennsylvania, where I was introduced to Quakerism. Prior to this, I had never been introduced to the Quaker ideals, but I was charmed by the sense of community prevalent in Friends Schools.   Fortunately, Buckingham Friends School invited me to join the faculty of a well-established Friends School. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in a place and with people who encourage others to grow professionally and personally. My teaching experience spans over 30 years, and in that time, I have discovered a passion for honoring the past and preparing for a vibrant future by creating a community that fosters respect and acceptance, promotes academic growth, and assists students with developing skills of responsibility and independence.



What is your educational philosophy as a 3rd-grade teacher? 

My philosophy of education includes respect. Though not one of the SPICES, respect is one of the central tenets of Friends education, where each person is valued for what they bring to the community, regardless of stature. Everyone within the group is extended the same courtesies, and this helps to support equality and a strong communal ideology. For me, a strong community is key to building relationships that foster trust and openness in the community so students flourish. 


As an educator, I aim to develop well-rounded students with a lifelong love for learning. To achieve this, it’s essential to address students’ social, emotional, and physical well-being in four key areas by: 


  • Showing empathy and compassion, create a community where everyone belongs
  • Building their value, empowering them to be confident, secure, and self-reliant
  • Allowing the freedom to make choices, encouraging their involvement in decisions, and creating an environment of continual learning and exploration
  • Being playful and having fun both in and out of the classroom  


Teaching to the whole child creates students who want to learn. This foundation helps build intellectual growth through applied knowledge, problem-solving, and critical thinking.  


Do you have a favorite subject or project you teach?

Dennis Haupert - 3rd grade activity

The subject I like to teach most is social studies. I enjoy teaching topics that engage the students in thinking about what life may have been like in that period, teach them something they have never heard before, and encourage them to use their imagination to problem-solve. Teaching when everyone can have an answer, all answers can be different, and anything could be correct drives their curiosity, which leads to some amazing learning.


Tell us about your favorite BFS tradition!

My favorite tradition is no longer practiced, but I would like to see it reinstated. During morning drop-off, all Kindergarten to 8th-grade students interact with one another in unscheduled activities on the field until the morning bell rings and all students report to their respective homerooms. I found that this “free play” time helped foster a sense of community, allowing the older students to mentor the younger ones.


Outside of school, what are some of your hobbies and interests? 

I enjoy a variety of activities, especially riding my motorcycle and tackling home renovation projects where I can build things and be creative. I try to put my art degree to work, finding rusty relics to refurbish just for the challenge of taking something old and reinventing it, or just making it new again. I also enjoy the beach life with my family for a change of pace.

Dennis and Students project 3rd Grade Tree Sap Boiling