New English teacher comes to CHS, replaces Diver


CHS welcomes new English teacher Anne Kelterborn.

Brigid McCarthy

Anne Kelterborn has held many titles throughout her life: farm girl, college student, prep cook, community volunteer. ‘English teacher,’ however, wasn’t one she was seeking out — at least, not until she realized the potential impact she could create. 

After graduating with an English degree from the University of Michigan, Kelterborn worked for a small Michigan publishing company but realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Then, while working on a community involvement project in the Detroit area, she had a revelation.

“One of the best ways to start to make change in your community is to work with young people and encourage young people to use their voice to participate in a democratic society,” she explained.

Inspired, Kelterborn returned to school to earn a teaching certificate. She completed her student teaching requirements in Detroit before making her way to Brooklyn, New York and finally landing in Red Bank, New Jersey.

“My husband is a surfer so we looked at a map and we asked ourselves ‘Where can we be the closest to the ocean but then the closest to New York City?’ because I was still teaching and had to commute,” she said. “We literally just looked at a map and found Red Bank, New Jersey.”

She continued commuting to Brooklyn for a time, but ended up pursuing local teaching jobs to stay close to her family. After teaching at Clifton T. Barkalow Middle School and then Biotechnology High School (BTHS), this fall she came to CHS to step into a freshman English teacher position previously held by Kathryn Diver, who accepted another position teaching special education at MCVSD’s Career Center.

“Over the past year and a half, I’ve been taking courses to obtain my Teacher of Students with Disabilities (TOSD) certification. I completed my courses and was granted state certification early this year,” Diver explained of her leave. “Teaching and being an advocate for students with special needs has always been a career goal for me. I feel lucky for this opportunity but will always cherish the fun times and amazing students I had at CHS.”

“I’ve always been eyeing Communications. With the humanities focus and the art focus, I was like ‘this would be a good fit for me,’” Kelterborn said. “When I saw that it [the job] was posted, I spoke to Mrs. Diver, asked her about it, and she was like ‘you would love it there.’”

In terms of teaching style, students can expect to feel heard in Kelterborn’s classroom.

“I find that I learn just as much from students as maybe they learn from me, especially with literature… I believe in discussion, I believe in centering student voice within my class,” Kelterborn said. “Within my 80 minute blocks, I make time for reading, I make time for discussion, I make time for writing.”

Kelterborn also shared her plans to bring a new diversity of writers and perspectives to CHS’s English department, something she previously did at BTHS.

“Our classrooms are a space where kids start to figure out who they are and what they believe in… In order for our students to be empathetic and knowledgeable citizens of the world, they have to hear more voices than the ones that look just like them,” she said. “I feel that if we only hear one voice and one experience, I think that’s limiting… As I am reading Antigone right now, I am brainstorming a list of contemporary titles that share similar conflicts and themes.”

Kelterborn’s teaching career began with a revelation from community work. Now, she strives to create her own community and her own movement for change with each class she teaches.

“I love teaching. I’m excited to meet my students,” Kelterborn said with a smile. “I just love that moment where the classroom just feels like a community and where kids start to maybe let their guard down a little bit more, where they’re willing to trust they’re in a space where they can share their writing and what they’re thinking about.”

“I wish her [Kelterborn] all the best,” Diver said. “I am confident she will love it at CHS!”