Teacher Tuesday Spotlight: Dr. Vince Janney

January 19, 2021

Teacher Tuesday Spotlight: Dr. Vince Janney.

Today’s interview was conducted by the US Digital Media Team (Mason Crowder, Brody Williams, Alex Kreger, JT Eberhart).

HA US DM: What is your favorite thing about HA?

Dr. Janney: My favorite thing about Houston Academy is its students. I am especially fond of the Middle School students, because they are the ones with whom I interact most frequently and regularly, but I am also super impressed with our Lower School and Upper School students. All schools exist so that students have a place to learn, not so adults like me have a place to work, and I am pleased, proud, and privileged to spend my days with a wonderful group of students. HA students are well-rounded, excelling in things academic, artistic, and athletic. HA students are well grounded, recognizing that while it is important to be a good scholar and student, it is imperative to be a good person with a well developed and much used moral compass that guides them as they grow, wherever they go. I love their passion. I love their energy. I love their quirks. The best part of my time on campus, each day, is the interactions I have with the HA students. Apologies, of course, to my colleagues and to the parents who read this, but it is the truth!

HA US DM: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Dr. Janney: In my free time, when my schedule and my bank account allows, I enjoy traveling. I like taking short day trips, weekend getaways with my wonderful family, and even lengthy jaunts abroad with educators to visit places in the world that fascinate me so that I can create educational materials for use in class. Last winter, for example, I went to Egypt to hang out with King Tut and to venture inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. This upcoming summer I will be visiting Petra in Jordan.

Recently, my family and I have started to foster animals for the Wiregrass Humane Society. Before starting to foster, we had 2 dogs of our own that we adopted from rescue shelters, Charli and Pippa. In November, after reading about her situation on a Facebook post, we decided to foster an injured and sick puppy named Phoenix. She has made her way into our hearts and our family, so we have adopted her now. Currently we have a large yet very young Doberman puppy that we are fostering until it is well enough to be adopted. These experiences have been worth every moment, every inconvenience, as these dogs give us as much love and joy, if not more, than we can ever give them.

I also enjoy reading (especially historical fiction pieces and mysteries set in historically significant locations), playing Strat-o-Matic baseball and fantasy football, and collecting vintage baseball cards.

HA US DM: Why did you choose to teach history?

Dr. Janney: I like stories. I like people. It fascinates me to think about what human beings have created and done over time. History is the story of people through time. History provides a lens through which I can consider the impact that the past has had to get us to the present, and to appreciate that the present will determine the future. To me, there is an optimism to history because it shows us the incredible heights to which humanity can climb. You cannot trek for a bit on the Great Wall of China, meditate near the top of Angkor Wat, venture inside the Colosseum, read an original copy of the Gettysburg Address, take a photograph of the Parthenon, stand atop the Temple of the Giant Jaguar in Tikal, or even visit Moundville right here in Alabama and not shake your head in delirious wonder and disbelief about the magnificence of the experience and the underlying greatness of humanity. History tells that story. As a history teacher, I am nothing more than a storyteller. And I hope that these stories will both enlighten and entertain.

Thank you, Dr. Janney, for all you do for our HA community!