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Eric Whitehair joined the Boys’ Latin community in 2007 when he accepted a position as a history teacher in the upper school. Mr. Whitehair teaches US History and World Religions to 11th and 12th grade students.  It is clear that his background and interests have allowed him to not only bring history to life but help students develop a genuine appreciation for different beliefs and perspectives.  

Mr. Whitehair grew up in West Baltimore and attended City College High School, the Baltimore City humanities magnet. “[I] was set upon a path where I would be a humanities person pretty early,” he remarks. Mr. Whitehair graduated City College in 1991 and went on to pursue an undergraduate degree at McDaniel College, then known as Western Maryland College. His route to a college diploma was, however, unconventional. Mr. Whitehair took a seven-year hiatus between his junior and senior years of college, where he explored a multitude of jobs, activities, and hobbies. “I was in a Rock n’ Roll band. I worked in a bank, in AmeriCorps, as a zoo keeper and as a Naturalist,” says Mr. Whitehair. After his detour, Mr. Whitehair returned to McDaniel to finish his degree: he graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies in 2003. He went on to attain an M.A. in Teaching Social Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2006. 

Consistent with his choice of undergraduate study, religion has been a very important part of Mr. Whitehair's life. He was raised in the Plymouth Brethren Church, an evangelical sect of Christianity, and after a brief departure from Christianity in his 20s, Mr. Whitehair transitioned into the Episcopalian Church. He has since been ordained as an Episcopalian deacon. He says, “I see it as my duty to bring the needs of the world to the church, and bring the church to the needs of the world.”

In 2009, two years after his arrival at BL, Mr. Whitehair proposed the addition of a World Religions elective to the History Department. “That was my passion and I wanted to bring it to BL,” said Mr. Whitehair, “The History Department Chair at the time was very open to it and facilitated the class addition very nicely.” Despite being an Episcopalian deacon, Mr. Whitehair is also the faculty sponsor of the Jewish Awareness Club (JAC). “I think there needs to be a place for Jewish culture, especially since so many of our BL brothers are [Jewish],” said Mr. Whitehair. 

Senior Teddy Fleming, three-year advisee of Mr. Whitehair’s, World Religions student, and JAC student leader, credits Mr. Whitehair’s “insistence on constant curiosity” with giving him “the tools as a student, religions scholar, and thoughtful citizen to succeed in the future.”

Between his obligations as a full-time faculty member and deacon, Mr. Whitehair still manages to have time to pursue his own creative interests. He is the guitarist and vocalist in a folk trio with two college friends, and the group plays gigs frequently in the Baltimore area. Mr. Whitehair also runs a podcast with his friend Bekah from college. The podcast, called Jackalope Carnival, focuses on particularly strange or mysterious historical events or phenomena. It is available for public access on Spotify. 

Mr. Whitehair may well be known for the way he explains the complexities of the Church of England or the cowboy songs he incorporates into US History class, but to many BL students, his open and generous spirit is what defines him best.