Mike B's Teacher Feature

Get to know the teachers here at CHS by reading Mike Bornstein's Interviews


1. What is one fact about you that students don’t know?


“I do Kendo and Iaido, which is Japanese fencing. You’re probably thinking of the white suit, the European fencing, right? It’s not that, though. It’s from the Japenese, the Samurai. We wear a blue helmet, two blue boxing gloves, and a protector for the body. Before I was married, I practiced five times a week. There’s a place in Randolph near the Higashi School, a place called Boston Kendo Kyokai. Every Saturday, I drive to Amherst to see my sensei, who I met in college.”

2. What is one of your hidden talents?


“In Kendo, I am a practitioner of something called Nito-ryu. It translates as ‘the way of two swords’, or ‘the path of two swords’. I practice with a sword in each hand, and the fighting from Star Wars was actually based on Kendo. Kendo came from something called Kenjitsu, which is the real killing that Samurai practice.”


3. What class at Canton High would you like to take?


“I’ve taken most of the classes they have to offer during high school and grad school, so I would actually prefer to just shadow different classes just to see how the teaching styles are done. I wish I had more time to go to other classes and just observe people. Even when I have a prep, I’ll visit Mr. Dybdahl, for example, but I can only do so for five or ten minutes. Whenever I see other teachers teach, it’s like ‘Oh, that’s how you teach that topic’. I learn different styles, everyone has their own personality. They build their own skill set, and from there they can apply different ideas and different ways of delivering the same idea.”


4. What’s at the top of your bucket list?


“I would like to pass the fourth degree black belt test in Kendo, called 4th Dan. I currently have 3rd Dan. Before black belt, it’s called Kyu, and it goes in reverse. It’s like 6th Kyu, 5th Kyu, 4th Kyu, etc., and then 1st Dan, 2nd Dan, 3rd Dan, etc. The highest is 8th Dan. Actually, just two days ago, the world champion traveled to the Boston area and I got to practice with him. So what happens is once a year, Japan holds the biggest tournament with the highest level people. This guy was number one in the world. Usually afterwards, they do something called an educational tour in which they go around the world and show their amazing Kendo to everyone. So, he came to the Boston area and I went to see him. We squared up, communicated a little with the swords, trying to feel each other out and find the opening. I think I have a headstrike, I go for the head, and as I do so, he immediately cuts my wrist, POW! The armor is really good though so it doesn’t hurt. Also, when your at a higher level, you know how to control the sword so it doesn’t hurt anyone. You get bruised from beginners because they don’t know what they’re doing. They think it’s like a baseball bat and hit you really hard. But the higher the level and the more skilled the person is, the better it feels actually, it’s like really soft. So you hear a loud sound, POW!, but it doesn’t really hurt at all….I lost in four seconds. He’s a 7th Dan. He’s not old enough to attempt 8th Dan, there’s an age requirement.”


5. If I could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?


“I just went to Europe with my wife, and it was really beautiful. I would like to re-visit this place in the Netherlands called Giethoorn, considered the ‘Venice of the North’. There are a lot of canals, a lot of houses and nice residential areas. It was so beautiful, I’d spend a couple days there.”

Mrs. Iacobucci 

  1. What is one of your hidden talents?


I can do a pretty decent cartwheel.  I could probably walk on my hands on a good day.


     2. What's at the top of your bucket list?

I am hoping to write and publish a book of poetry (in the next year or so, fingers crossed).


     3. What class at Canton High would you like to take?


Definitely Mr. Hiltz's Political Science elective class.


     4. What life accomplishment are you most proud of?


I self-published a YA book called The Trouble with Pretty.  


     5. What do you like most about being a teacher?


I love the students here. They bring me so much joy. I teach them cool stuff and, in return, they share their lives and opinions and dreams with me. Most days with them are a blessing.