#MightyTask: John David Bennett P ’12, ’19, ’23

Thursday, April 1, 2021

When COVID-19 made virtual learning a necessity, Dean of Curricular Innovation John David Bennett stepped up to play a key role in what has become known as Virtual ’Burg, Mercersburg’s virtual learning option for students beginning in spring 2020 and continuing during the current academic year. The initial issue with online learning was the varying time zones and finding a format that accommodates students around the world. After many conversations and brainstorming sessions, the final schedule for the fall consisted of virtual, on-campus, and hybrid (or blended) classes. According to Bennett, the challenge is to keep the community together, and that’s what Virtual ’Burg is all about, giving students more opportunities to join the community. 

Bennett also helped shape the Mercersburg Intensive, the new four-week, one-course term students participated in virtually between the fall and winter terms: “We’re coming out of this stronger, more knowledgeable, with new tools in our tool belt and teachers and students much more open-minded to considering school out of bounds and out of the four walls of the classroom.”