When Asher Rolfe isn’t in the classroom teaching 7th Grade history or working with his advisees, you might find him coaching Cub Soccer or JV Wrestling. On the weekends, you might find him hiking or biking the trails in the James River Park System with his family.
Mr. Rolfe has many interests, but teaching history to Middle Schoolers is among the things about which he is passionate.
“Middle School is such a neat time,” Mr. Rolfe said. “It’s such a gift to be a part of (students’) lives at this time, as they are on the cusp of becoming young adults, to teach and help them discover and develop their interests.”
A native of Richmond, Mr. Rolfe attended St. Christopher’s School, followed by college at Wesleyan University, where he majored in government and wrestled. Following a year as a teaching intern at Culver Military Academy, he completed his M.A. in history at Old Dominion University and began teaching 7th and 8th Grade history at Norfolk Academy, where he coached track and cross country.
After 14 years at Norfolk Academy, Mr. Rolfe was thrilled to join the Collegiate faculty and return to Richmond to be closer to family.
The Rolfes have three children: Molly is a 6th Grader, Avery is in 3rd Grade and Wesley is in Kindergarten. The Rolfes agree that the Collegiate community — teachers and students alike — has been so welcoming, from Cougar Pals to colleagues.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws for Mr. Rolfe was Collegiate’s commitment to a child-centric educational philosophy and how such a priority is placed on developing students to be well-rounded people of character, with academics at the heart of it.
“I appreciate that philosophy both as a parent and teacher,” he said. “Being a teacher is a great thing. It’s nice to be immersed in a community with a singular focus, where the people around you are aligned with same mission for being here.”
A self-described science and math enthusiast, Mr. Rolfe said, “I love where science and ancient history collide, especially as it relates to human evolution, biology and genetics and how there are always new discoveries.”
It’s no surprise that as a history teacher, one of Mr. Rolfe’s many interests is traveling. He chaperoned a student trip to Sicily, Italy, which was a unique historical experience, with Sicily serving as a cultural hub and the resulting layering of civilizations.
Mr. Rolfe has traveled to India, the Middle East, Italy and France. What’s next on his destination bucket list? Far East Asia and South America, for sure.
In addition to traveling, he loves being outside. Being in Richmond brings him closer to the mountains.
Academically speaking, Mr. Rolfe loves how history helps students develop critical thinking skills and teaches them to ask good questions.
“When you get kids to reevaluate their perception of the world — sometimes expectedly or out of the blue, any moment that gets kids to think differently about the world is a huge victory for a teacher.
“I love Middle School,” he said. “The kids are changing, they want to be more independent, they are almost young adults, but are not entirely ready for it, and I love being a part of it.”