Jessica Feinstein's Letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Castilleja Board of Trustees,

      If what I hear regarding the dismissal of Bear Capron is true, then it seems to me that Castilleja is in desperate need of a value-check. Conscience is the first of the Five C's. It is unconscionable to fire a beloved teacher after decades of service and force him from his life's work under an undeserved cloud of suspicion. Terminating Mr. Capron's employment is a disservice to current and future students and sets a poor example for how to repay loyalty, passion, and creativity.

      I did not take more than a handful of classes from Mr. Capron. But anyone who has ever interacted with him cannot help but feel the caring and inspiration that he radiates. Through drama, he helped some of my classmates find their voices. His lessons about confidence in the spotlight and voice projection have stuck with me all these years and served me well in law school.

      I owe the wonderful education I received at Castilleja, which propelled me to Yale, Oxford, and Stanford Law School, to the teachers: educators like Mr. Capron, Mr. Wong, who gave me confidence in math, and Magistra Criswell, whose Latin program instilled in me a lifelong reverence for history and language. The teachers are the foundation of the school, perpetuating its spirit and institutional memory from class to class. It pains me to think that they could be so little valued by the administration.

      The best education is not one that shelters its students from all realities (like, god forbid, nudity), but one that challenges them to think critically about the world around them and to act courageously. That is what teachers like Mr. Capron gave me.

      I urge the Board to do the right thing—not the easiest thing—and fight for Mr. Capron.

Sincerely,
Jessica Feinstein
Class of 2002

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