Faculty Spotlight: Mike Hibbs

You may not recall all of the teachers you have had, but I am sure there are a few that have made a lasting impression. For students at Canterbury, Mike Hibbs is one of those teachers.
“There’s one specific moment when I think of Canterbury that I really cherish, and that was my first day in English class, sophomore year, with Mr. Hibbs,” shares Jamie Guterman ’20. “We sat down, and he gave us this piece of paper. It was a piece of literature called The Paradox of Education and it was all about how once you become more educated about the society you live in, you start to question it more, and that questioning is okay. And that moment really stands out to me because I think it really captures what Canterbury is all about for me. It’s about what do you think rather than telling me what the textbook wants me to think.” 

Another Canterbury graduate, Robert Bao ’20, made sure to thank Mr. Hibbs as he walked across the stage to get his diploma. Robert thanked Mr. Hibbs “for teaching him how to live his life.” Those are just two of the many memorable moments or words of appreciation shared by students of Mike Hibbs. This thought-provoking teacher joined Canterbury School five years ago to teach English in our Upper School. Mike is also a very accomplished basketball coach, and he leads our boys’ basketball team. Mike earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Maryland. While he has been teaching for 37 years, he tells us he is ready for year 38. “I am more energized than I have been in a long time. I am really looking forward to teaching seniors,” Hibbs shared. “I have taught now in four different decades. I am trying to make it five.”

CLICK HERE to hear more about Mike's background and family, why he chose a career in education, and learn about his biggest pet peeve. READ BELOW for even more information about Mike. We also would like to share transcripts of two memorable speeches given by Mike recently. Click the links below to view them.

Baccalaureate Address
Faculty Moment

What makes Canterbury so special?

“I can describe Canterbury in one word, and it’s opportunity. I say that for the teachers as well as the students. I have had so many opportunities already to teach different books, to make up courses, to do what’s going to keep me in teaching after 38 years - that keeps me going and gives me that fire and passion that I have for teaching. Canterbury allows me opportunities to make myself better, to make myself a better teacher and a better person. I think that’s also true of the students. Canterbury allows the students to find who they are and find their passions, which is the same thing for the teachers.”   

What are you most proud of?
“I was named Teacher of the Year a couple of times at The Bullis School. I was even nominated for the Disney Teacher of the Year award. So, that’s really one of those special things to be able to be recognized in the same voice with so many other great teachers. Really, more than anything is just getting the emails and text messages from my students all the time telling me all of the great things they are doing.”

What’s on your summer reading list?
“I have read Siddhartha, Fahrenheit 451, and I am getting ready to start The Brothers Karamazov, which is a Russian novel. I am just trying to challenge myself, think a little more deeply, and make connections with more and more books. We have our summer reading books that I am reading as well.”

Do you have any hobbies or collections?
“I collect Sports Illustrated covers. I have been doing that since the early ’80s, so I have big file folders and bins full of Sports Illustrated covers all the way back to when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were playing in the NBA.” 

What is your favorite travel destination?
“I really enjoy going back to Maryland. I love eating blue crabs, sitting around, talking, and having crabs. I love Maryland and my sister lives right on the water, on the Chesapeake Bay. So, it’s kind of like being down here, but up there. It’s a very nice area.”

Do you have a favorite treat? 
“My favorite treat that I always have on my birthday is Boston Cream Pie. I just love those, and usually, that’s what I get.”

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
“My wife and I really like Doc Ford’s on the island. We like the atmosphere there. She also looks for the author Randy White out there all of the time. She’s bought all of his books, read all of them. She carries her books in there to see if she can get them signed by the author. ”