R Voices: Mr. Van Whipple & Winston

Van Whipple & Winston

You’ve seen him around campus along with his furry companion. Let’s get to know more about Mr. Van Whipple and his sidekick, Winston! 

In the spring of 2022, Van joined the Riordan community teaching AP Macroeconomics and RSP assistance. This year, you will find Van teaching both AP Macroeconomics and Modern World History. He shared some thoughts about what he likes most about Riordan.

“The students are fantastic, the staff feels like family, and it has a house system that brings so much spirit and school pride to Riordan. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, I would say it's the vibe. It’s hard to explain but you can just feel it when you are here and it’s awesome.”

Van is always accompanied by his 1-year-old (who turns 2 years old on Christmas Day) Golden Doodle, Winston, “he is my best bud. He spends his whole life making sure I get to live mine.” 

Beyond his contagious smile, Van is a man of service, “before coming to Riordan, I spent most of my life in public service. I followed a family tradition and I entered the military at 17. I served on multiple continents.”  

After serving in the Army, Van continued his acts of service through exploring different careers, “I’ve been fortunate to have worked in many areas, including project management, public affairs, advocating/lobbying, public policy, economics, and was a former small business owner. I’ve spent the last several years teaching grades 6-12 in the public school system and really enjoy being a teacher.” 

While in the Army, Van suffered a traumatic brain injury, “I was left with some life changes, including epilepsy.” Winston is Van’s seizure alert service dog, “he has really opened up my ability to live a more full life.” 

We are overjoyed that Van and Winston are here with us at Riordan!