33 and a half years
Any tips for new teachers so that they can go the distance?
Work hard and know the material. To make the distance, I don’t know? Teachers who do their jobs well are tired all the time. That’s why teachers get summers off. We need it!
What are you most proud of?
Trying not to lose my integrity and speak up when something is wrong. And I think I’ve weathered that storm.
Yeah, you certainly have a reputation [for speaking up] in the school.
And I said that at the retirement banquet. Teachers need to speak up, otherwise things will never change.
What are you going to miss most?
Well, I'll miss the students. I’ll miss the intellectual camaraderie. I have these friends to talk to and I worry about not having those discussions with Jim Safford and Ben Will and Liz Yearsley and all the wonderful people in [the English wing]. I will miss teachers and students. I will not miss the politics.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the school since you’ve been here?
The biggest change is that students are not in the building. The push for students to go dual enrollment and to get out of the building — I think that the administration — the district administration — is going to regret this later. It’s important for students to be in the school.
Were there computers in the building when you started at Etown?
No, there weren’t any.
You’ve been around long enough to see the whole evolution of technology use in the high school — what’s that change been like?
It’s definitely a wonderful tool. I’m going out for knee surgery soon and students will be doing their graduation speeches and I’ll still be able to see them.
Does it make anyone a better teacher? No. It is a tool, not a teacher. You need to know your material and be able to convey that knowledge to the students.
Do you have any hopes for the school?
I hope there is a day where students are back in the building. I hope students keep reading and that students want to learn about the world around them and not just what is on a computer.
Do you have any retirement plans? Books you will finally have the chance to read?
I’ve got a pile of books to read, oh my gosh. I’d like to go across country. I love Scotland, so I’d like to go there again. One of my dreams is to travel to Africa, so I’d like to go there. Yeah, that’s mostly it: travel, spend time with my son and family, and read. And finally I’ll be able to travel at times other than the summer in the hot. It will be nice to take a fall vacation.
That’s all I have to ask, is there anything you’d like to say?
One of the most wonderful things about this school district — a lot of people say they have a great family to work with — I can really say that as someone who has first hand had people rally around me when I needed support. I’ve always felt like I’ve been in the right spot. Some people hate their jobs, but it's never been like that for me. I’ve always enjoyed what I have been doing. It’s been tiring at times, but I’ve always known this is where I was supposed to be.