By Jake Benslimane’22 and Johnny Russell’22
If you were to tell Mr. Tallman when he was in college that one day he’d be a history teacher at Woodberry, he would have called you crazy.
Now in his 17th year as a teacher here at Woodberry, Mr. Tallman has enjoyed every second of it: “As a teacher, my favorite things have been intellectual stimulation in the classroom, the physical aspects of the campus, the relationships I have with my colleagues, and the boys at the school.”
As a student, Mr. Tallman was a 3-sport varsity athlete and his favorite hobby was being at the river with his friends. It pains him not seeing students take advantage of the outdoor resources, like he used to do when he was a student: “It crushes me to see students today not take advantage of this beautiful campus. Technology has taken away the opportunity for the boys to make new relationships.”
Although that may be a negative change from when Mr. Tallman was a student, he believes that nowadays the Woodberry community is much more inclusive and nurturing toward the students: “The example of the traditional Woodberry boy has changed for the better.”
The road back to the Forest for Mr. Tallman, was an interesting one to say the least. While at Vanderbilt, Mr. Tallman was in Pre-Med his first year in college. His interests quickly changed, as a year later he became a history major. Then, after graduating from Vanderbilt, he taught at The Christ School in Asheville, North Carolina for four years. After his stint in the mountains of Western North Carolina, he decided to return to Woodberry, a place which for him has been “A great place to raise a family.”
If you have ever taken one of Mr. Tallman’s classes, you are no stranger to the “Woodberry Connection.” He enjoys teaching his students about the presence of Woodberry alums or others connected to school in historical events. The addition of “The Woodberry Connection” into Mr. Tallman’s teaching curriculum is proof that he loves the school and that he has a strong passion for educating others about the Woodberry’s history.