Bringing a European approach

Harry Potter buffs might want to start retreating to the performing arts part of the campus if they would wish to see someone who shares Harry’s hometown of Surry, England.

New drama teacher Steven Beckingham was in fact born in Surry, where his father played futbol (soccer to us Americans) for an English professional club.


“I grew up on futbol,” Beckingham said. “Being from near London I’m a die hard Arsenal Gunner fan.”

Before coming to West Linn, Beckingham worked at Canby High School as an adviser to the drama program as there was no drama class.

“I already knew Ms. Annie Keizer and [WLHS’s drama program] has a great rep,” Beckingham said on what drew him to West Linn High School. “ The Lion is also the symbol of England.”

Beckingham understands that teaching drama is different from other classes based on the content covered, but believes that connecting formal relationships, engaging students and helping them to progress is the same.


“In a drama class your more active, constantly thinking: mind, body and soul,” Beckingham said. “You’re physically expressing everything.”

Beckingham attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, where he studied theater and played soccer for the Boxers. New York was Beckingham’s next stop, where he earned his masters in education from City College of New York.

As for professional acting, Beckingham has appeared on “Grimm” and “Leverage,” both of which are filmed in the Portland area.


“My favorite was Grimm because I got a two week stint to be the bad guy,” Beckingham said.