Board President Interview
- What brought you to Clapham?
We were seeking an alternative to public schools for my oldest daughter. We wanted a Biblical foundation for our kids and liked the classical model.
- What unique insights do you bring to the board as a former Clapham parent?
We have close to forty years of combined attendance with my four daughters at Clapham! We were present during the early, formative days, so it’s been great to see the progression over the years as it has become a more established school while still maintaining its core principles on which it was founded. We pray our longevity brings perspective to what the school was founded on and what it seeks to achieve going forward.
- Tell us about your family. (Kids, pets, etc.) Where did you take your wife on your first date?
We have five kids, four girls and a boy, and a dog, Oliver. One daughter is married, another will be married in the fall.
For our first date, I took Julie to the zoo and then we went to see Babe (the movie about the pig). She informed me years later that she doesn’t like animals.
- What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to be outdoors, so any outside sport, but mainly tennis and golf. I race Mazda Miata’s down in Joliet.
- Is there anything you would love to learn but haven’t found the time for?
How to play the piano, but I’m too old, it’s not going to happen!
- Do you have a favorite book of the Bible or Bible verse? What makes it special to you?
My favorite verse is Ezra 7:10 because it speaks to the importance of discipleship. Ezra did three things: he studied God’s Word, he sought to obey it, and perhaps most importantly, he taught others. I have thoroughly enjoyed the small groups I’ve been involved with over the years, both men’s and couples’ groups.
- Other than the Bible, what book has made an impact on your life?
I love any book about or by George W. Bush.
- What is your vision for Clapham in 5 years? 10 years?
I’m thankful to see the school move out of its start-up phase. I’m excited to see it become an established institution with rigorous academic standards while built on a conservative Biblical worldview.
John and his wife, Julie, both grew up in Maryland but have lived in Wheaton since they got married in 1997. John studied business at Wheaton College and has worked in the Exchange Traded Fund business for most of his career. Seeking an alternative to public schools, the Southards were introduced to Clapham School during its infancy, sending their children when its doors opened in 2006. Four of their five children attended through 8th grade, and their youngest daughter graduated from Clapham School in 2021.