Greeting me with his warm British accent, Mr. Debling, a fresh-faced member of the Belmont Hill faculty, shook my hand as we sat down for an impromptu interview.
While growing up in Bristol, England, Mr. Debling always had a certain affinity for theater and the arts. After growing into a seasoned thespian during his high school years, he began mentoring aspiring young actors for the Young Company of the Bristol Old Vic Theater. Beginning with the fall Upper School play “Much Ado About Nothing” he hopes to bring this passion for theater to Belmont Hill, inspiring the next up and coming actors. He told me one of his main goals for this year is to peak interest in the school productions. To interest boys who are typically drawn to sports into exploring what the fantastic Belmont Hill Theater and Arts Programs have to offer.
Not only was Mr. Debling a talented performer, he also received stellar grades at Weston College and seized the opportunity to attend Harvard University. There he received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts for his outstanding work as an actor, theatrical and musical director, and visual artists. As the new teacher of art, photography, and digital video, he seeks to push these curricula into new, innovative directions that highlight the greatest aspects of our school. Armed with his expansive knowledge of modern technology such as the GoPro and drones, he hopes to highlight the school’s exciting athletic and academic competitions with his eager Form III students. Upon asking what drew him to teaching, he responded, “Kids bring things to the table you would never even imagine.”
Looking for a possible future career in America, he heard from a close friend of his from Harvard, none other than our own Mr. Sundel, that there was an opening in the Arts Department here on the hill. The position seemed so fortuitously perfect, that he knew the job was meant for him. After a summer of refocusing while off the grid in Wyoming, Mr. Debling is most certainly ready to take on the challenges ahead of him, with the same flair that has led him to success throughout his life in both England and New England. As our conversation finished, these poignant words of his were left resonating in my mind, “In such a visual world, it is so very important to learn the visual skills that breed creativity, to create compelling images that no machine could ever replicate.”