Mr. Atherton grew up in the neighboring city of Arvada, where he graduated from D’Evelyn High School. True to his liberal arts stripes, Mr. Atherton loves to read and stay in touch with his creative side. “I sometimes call myself a novice cook, and, as long as I’m not slicing up my fingers, I enjoy carving wood.” He is looking forward to being back home in West Denver, nestled in the shadows of the Front Range.
When it comes to books, he’s fascinated by William Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom! “It both terrifies and enchants me. It’s a lion of a book: big, sometimes mean, and tremendous in its beauty.” Mr. Atherton is currently working through Willa Cather’s Death Comes to the Archbishop while trying to gather up enough courage for The Sound and the Fury.
Mr. Atherton was at a job fair at his alma mater, Hillsdale College, when he stumbled into the Golden View booth. “I jogged to my interview, panting it out in the spare few minutes between taking a midterm and writing a paper.” He jumped at the opportunity to take part in Golden View Classical, but he wonders if it was a natural force that engaged him. “We know, secretly—implicitly—that the call to knowledge is among our highest. Once we catch its scent, unflaggingly, we chase it. What snippets we catch, we spread among each other. A few months ago, I was given the option to teach at the kind of school that had dedicated itself to this chase; I wonder, now, if ever I had a choice.”
Mr. Atherton is most excited about introducing his 5th grade classes to the wonder of poetry. “Too many of us grimace at the word ‘poetry.’ This is a virus, probably contracted from a mosquito, and spreading, now, across all seven continents with unkempt speed. The antidote is more poetry.” With regards to the future of Golden View Classical, he is optimistic about his duty to promote a principled and purposeful educational environment. “I’ve always loved the way that, reading through history, we hear the United States described as an ‘experiment.’ I like to think of Golden View in similar terms. We suggest a real dynamism with the word; on an experiment’s far end, there is something, some truth, to be proven, but there is a process, often lengthy, in getting there. In our experiment, then, we have plenty to probe—some of it lofty, and some of it practical. All told, the pursuit is a noble one.”