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Sept. 1, 2023

Well-traveled Dr. Ben Paulus pleased to join the Badin High staff

Dr. Ben Paulus is well traveled in his life – but his residence in Butler County is a bit more natural. His wife, Anna, is a graduate of Edgewood High School.

Paulus, 42, is in his first year teaching senior religion at Badin High School, and happy to be doing it.

“I’m really enjoying it here – I can be a little more open about my faith,” said Paulus, who is a convert to the Catholic religion. “You can have a more personal touch with students, and work to meet them where they are.”

Born in Charlottesville, Va., Paulus has lived in Croatia, Canada and Scotland, before life brought him to Butler County.

“The world is a beautiful and amazing place,” said Paulus. “I’m really grateful to have been able to travel and to have lived all over. There’s a lot of value in knowing, meeting and understanding other people. It helps you to be more open to people and their thinking.”

He was working on his PhD in Moral Theology in Scotland when he felt called to the Catholic Church. Prior to that, in fact, while working on his master’s degree in divinity in Vancouver, British Columbia, he had actually been ordained as an Anglican (Episcopal) priest.

“Discovering the Catholic faith has been such an important part of my life,” said Paulus, noting he was received into the Catholic Church at Easter vigil in Scotland in 2015. “I’m passionate about it. I love the Catholic faith.”

“We’re really pleased and fortunate to have Ben Paulus on our staff,” Badin High Principal Patrick Keating said. “His personality, broad range of experience, and faith expertise really brings a lot to the Badin community.”

Paulus was 11 in 1992 when his father took a job teaching theology at a seminary in Croatia.

“The ceasefire (in a brutal war between the former territories of Yugoslavia) had just been inked,” he recalled. “There was shrapnel everywhere, lots of bomb damage on the block. It was an amazing experience. It was eye-opening as a young kid to see that. It deepened my appreciation for the things that people go through.”

A graduate of Grace Christian High School in Staunton, Va., Paulus went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and English from Grove City (Pa.) College, then taught English for two years at his prep alma mater.

He met his wife during his graduate work at Regent College in Vancouver. Two of his five children – now ages 3 through 13, three boys and two girls who attend St. Peter in Chains in Hamilton – were born in Canada, before the family moved to Scotland in 2013 and Paulus pursued his doctorate at the University of Aberdeen.

“I have an intrinsic love and interest in theology,” Paulus said. “The universities in Scotland have major religious roots and world class divinity departments. It was a great experience.”

He completed his doctoral thesis – the Virtue of Chastity and the social implications of that – upon his return to the United States in 2017. He has been an adjunct professor at Miami University, the University of Dayton and Mount St. Joseph University … and responded to a random email about the teaching opening in the Religion Department at Badin High School.

“I’m happy to be here,” Paulus said. “I’m settling in and enjoying the students.”

Of his time in war-torn Croatia, Paulus recalled, “I learned to speak Croatian. I fell in love with soccer. And I learned to understand that while people may be different, they want similar things. They just want what’s best.”

Paulus is one of seven new teachers on the Badin faculty for the 2023-24 school year. They include Mr. Noah Chaney in English; Mr. CJ Fleming in Social Studies, who is also the new boys head basketball coach; Ms. Rachel McKinney in English; Mr. Thomas Palevich in Religion; Mr. Mark Provart in Music; and Ms. Jennifer Zeller in Math. In addition, there are two student teachers from Miami University on board for the first semester – Mr. Will Roth in Social Studies and Ms. Megan Condon in Math.

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, or (513) 869-4490

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Dr. Ben Paulus pleased to join the Badin High staff