BFA Science Welcomes Schlutius

Caroline Schlutius

Caroline Schlutius

Luke Holcomb, Writer

Starting her first year at Bellows Free Academy is Caroline Schlutius, a new member of the Science Department.

Schlutius said that things have been well so far, but moving to Vt. from Pa. has made the change nerve-racking. 

“I’m settling into BFA and getting to know the ropes here, but I’m enjoying it,” Schlutius said. 

Schlutius said she earned her undergraduate degree at Yale in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology before going on to get her Master’s Degree in Biology at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Prior to going into the field of teaching, Schlutius said she pursued research and academia, which differed from teaching in that it was much more detail-oriented and specific to the topic. Schlutius said, though, that she was “lacking…interaction with people” and teaching provided a more impactful and connecting experience with people.

Before coming to BFA, Schlutius worked in Middlebury as a nature educator over the summer. She said this was a very different experience from BFA as she worked with a younger age group during a different time of year. “But it was a blast,” she said.

After this summer position, Schlutius moved to Vermont with her partner, Bob, and two dogs: Tots and Ruth. She looked for teaching jobs in the area and found that she really enjoyed the community and environment at BFA, and everyone she talked to was “nice, [welcoming] and supportive.”

Schlutius teaches Earth Science and Environmental Science, which she described both as being “great for different reasons.” Earth Science, because it is a required class, is more structured and offers a greater variety of students, while Environmental Science is more flexible and can be molded into what students are interested in.

For Schlutius, an important reason for teaching is being able to get to know her students and understand their interests. “You know, why they’re taking the class [and] what they want to do in life.”

Schlutius also likes to help students develop skills learned in science, such as critical thinking and investigation to prepare them for life in today’s information-heavy climate. “Being able to help students grow those skills, but also making sure that what I’m teaching is relevant to them, is important to me,” Schlutius said.