The Gaucho Gazette

New Teacher on Campus

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New Teacher on Campus

Photo by Megan Gauer

Photo by Megan Gauer

Photo by Megan Gauer

Megan Gauer, Reporter

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By the end first grading period, most students have settled into all of their classes, grew familiar with their teachers and classmates, and began to get a sense of their courses for the school year.  The large majority of our school’s students experienced this—with the exception of Mitchell McSweeney’s World History and Economics students. All of his students, who were without a teacher for a variety of reasons, had various substitute teachers until McSweeney’s arrival in mid-September.  These students had a long-term substitute for the first few weeks of the semester, but ended up having approximately six substitutes before meeting their year long teacher.

Sophomore Ethan Falkenberg, a student in McSweeney’s world history class, described his personal experience during the first grading period.

“It was kind of interesting. We learned like a lot of the same stuff over and over again, like, we talked a lot about the Enlightenment period. We had a lot of different teachers. It was harder once our long term sub left after a few weeks because then we had another few weeks of just juggling teachers, so it’s nice to have a full time teacher,” said Falkenberg.

Photo by Megan Gauer
Students working in McSweeney’s world history class.

 

McSweeney, a Casa Grande alumnus, is beginning his first year as a full time high school teacher.  He has been involved at the school since working as James Forni’s water boy in the sixth grade. McSweeney competitively swam for the school swim team in high school, and recently started coaching swim for middle school and high school students and found he enjoyed working with that age group. He will be assisting with the swim team this year. When asked about teachers who influenced him to become a teacher himself, McSweeney identified several members of our school’s staff that directly impacted him.

 “[Eric] Backman was my teacher my junior year and he got me interested in more of Petaluma’s history. I like ancient history’s time in civilization. But, he also got me thinking of our local history and that was really interesting to me. I learned a lot from him. Obviously, [James] Forni had a huge impact on me being here. A really big impact.  I had him as a teacher and my sisters had him as a teacher as well. He had a big influence on my family. I had Todd [Siders] as well. During his class, I learned how to think critically and I hadn’t really been challenged before to think critically before,” said McSweeney.

Sophomore Ashley Casper, a student in McSweeney’s world history class, explained her thoughts on the school year ahead.

“It’s going to be a great year in history. Mr. McSweeney is great. He’s fun and has good taste of music,” said Casper.Photo by Megan Gauer

 

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