By: Nathan Hedgecock
This year, Gilman is delighted to welcome back Mr. Jibri McLean (‘13), who will be teaching in the Lower School and helping out with several Upper School extracurriculars. McLean finds his roots in Baltimore, having been born and raised in the city. Once a Gilman student, McLean entered the school in 1999 as a pre-firster, spending a total of 13 years at Gilman. He then went on to attend Kenyon College and is now returning to Gilman as a Foreman Fellow in the Lower School. A foreman fellowship is a one year “all encompassing teachers aid assignment,” according to Mclean.
Mr. Mclean described his roles as “essentially a teacher’s aid for the 5th grade.” He added, “I’ll be teaching language arts with Ms. Tealing for the first graders. I’ll be reading to the kindergarteners; I’ll be teaching math and art and stuff like that and music with the fifth grade class.” Mr. McLean plans to help teach Gilman students outside of the classroom as well, coaching football, indoor track, and outdoor track in the Upper School while assisting the Travelling Men alongside Mr. Ford. This summer, Mr. McLean worked as a sports counselor at ESF camp for the “Ivy league, which is the six year olds, so I was having six year olds do drills and sports and games,” he said. McLean has also been coaching Gilman Football since August 10th as part of the team’s pre season program.
Students may recognize Mr. McLean from his accapella group, the Kenyon Kokosingers, who performed at Gilman in an assembly last December. In fact, this appearance introduced McLean to the Foreman Fellowship and played a part in McLean’s decision to return to Gilman as a teacher. He explained, “Robbie Ford introduced me to Mr. Griffith [after the assembly] and he was basically like this fellowship program would be great for you.” After returning to the campus in the process of applying for the Foreman Fellowship, Mclean “felt a wave of nostalgia, and I really enjoyed how it felt to walk in the halls again and be around a lot of students who look like [him] and were doing the same type of things as [he] did.”
Indeed, behind McLean’s nostalgia lies a great love for Gilman: “I wanted to give back to a community that gave me so much,” states McLean, “[Gilman] embraced me as who I was. As a Gilman gentleman, it helped raise me as a man.”