Meet The Fulwiders
Ben Fulwider is an upper school history teacher and chair of the social sciences department at Harpeth Hall. His daughter, Audrey, is currently a 6th grade student.
As a teacher, what drew you to Harpeth Hall?
I am married to an alum, Valere Byrd Fulwider, Class of 1996, and hearing her talk about her experiences as a student put Harpeth Hall on my radar a long time ago. I always considered this something of my dream job because of the opportunity to teach such wonderful students and to work with such amazing colleagues.
As a parent, what influenced you to consider and enroll your daughter in Harpeth Hall?
Having an insider's perspective on the school, and primarily the people who work here, made wanting to send our daughter to Harpeth Hall a no-brainer. We knew she would have every opportunity to learn, be exposed to a wide variety of human pursuits, and do so surrounded by incredible classmates and some of the best teachers you'll find anywhere. Plus, Audrey had been spending time at Harpeth Hall since she was tiny, and frankly, she fell in love with the magic of the place the first moment she walked on campus. We spent exactly zero seconds deciding that we wanted her to have this experience.
How have you seen Audrey’s Harpeth Hall experience help develop her academic and co-curricular interests?
Audrey's experience here has exceeded even our lofty hopes. She has embraced the Harpeth Hall culture of trying new things, and we have seen her confidence grow through both her successes and her failures. She is excited about her classes and seizes her chances to dive into new experiences. Her peers are encouraging and supportive. Most remarkably, she has already absorbed the powerful idea that women and girls matter - and that they should demand to be taken seriously. The culture here makes that claim self-evident. I wish the whole world could see it.
From your experience, do you have any advice for prospective families as they go through the admission process?
Well, parents can get emotional about the admission process at a school like Harpeth Hall. I came away from my experience with tremendous respect for the work that the admission team does. The process is not about picking the "best" kids, but about trying to figure out who will be able to thrive here and making the best decision for each individual applicant and her family. So, in sum, my advice would be to trust the process and know that everyone involved truly cares about your child.
What students say about Dr. Fulwider...
"My favorite class is AP US History with Dr. Fulwider because he is an amazing lecturer who made everything seem interesting and important." - Riley Kate '23
"I love AP US History because I absolutely love having Dr. Fulwider as a teacher and he makes every class enjoyable no matter how hard it is." - Sarah Martin '23
"My favorite class at Harpeth Hall has been AP United States History with Dr. Fulwider. I love American history and really enjoyed getting to dive into the complex structures of our society and how we as a country have evolved." - Aden '23