New year, new faces

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New year, new faces

A picture of Mr. Bathgate and Mr. Berry. As a new father to his one year old son Luka, Mr.Berry and Mr. Bathgate are both loving fathers in addition to being excellent teachers. I couldn’t have gotten here without my Dad, so to my senior class reading this: take it easy on him (yes, Mr. Bathgate is my Dad so you can stop asking).

A picture of Mr. Bathgate and Mr. Berry. As a new father to his one year old son Luka, Mr.Berry and Mr. Bathgate are both loving fathers in addition to being excellent teachers. I couldn’t have gotten here without my Dad, so to my senior class reading this: take it easy on him (yes, Mr. Bathgate is my Dad so you can stop asking).

Morgan Bathgate

A picture of Mr. Bathgate and Mr. Berry. As a new father to his one year old son Luka, Mr.Berry and Mr. Bathgate are both loving fathers in addition to being excellent teachers. I couldn’t have gotten here without my Dad, so to my senior class reading this: take it easy on him (yes, Mr. Bathgate is my Dad so you can stop asking).

Morgan Bathgate

Morgan Bathgate

A picture of Mr. Bathgate and Mr. Berry. As a new father to his one year old son Luka, Mr.Berry and Mr. Bathgate are both loving fathers in addition to being excellent teachers. I couldn’t have gotten here without my Dad, so to my senior class reading this: take it easy on him (yes, Mr. Bathgate is my Dad so you can stop asking).

Morgan Bathgate, Reporter

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The Math Department: Who Just Came In? 

There is a lot to be said about the feeling of going anywhere new- let alone in a new building that may define the rest of your career path. For students especially, the transition between middle school to high school hits heavy for the freshmen and sophomore classes. Yet somehow, the transition through junior and senior year often leaves students trying to remember- what was it like going through that massive change in my life? A mixed response from upper class students often reflects two sides of the story: those who remember very little about their freshman year and others who vividly recall their past experiences.

So how is this transition impacting the newer staff at our high school? The student perspective gets reflected on often, but the transition for forthcoming teachers often gets overlooked despite difficulties they face. With a majority of students assuming or never thinking about what the new experience may be like, many of the new teachers are left with strong feelings of nerves and excitement at the start of the new year. 

I was as prepared as I could be as I had to adapt to new policies and procedures,” Mr. Bathgate told me in a private interview. “The upperclassmen had to get used to having a new teacher.  For the 9th graders, however, I was the first Math teacher they had.” 

In addition to just entering the district, Mr. Bathgate aims to ensure that no student in his class fails this year, wishing that his students realized his job is done out of passion and not just for the paycheck. Additionally, he hopes to see his students, inside and outside of room 103, come to appreciate the educational opportunities they are granted as well.

“I grew up in a family where my father was the only income, and it wasn’t a lot,” he said. “We knew we didn’t have much, but we learned to make the most of what we had and not make excuses.” 

These values, in his eyes, can be expressed in a way that students are being taught while granted free education. According to a random sample of students in his class, their first comment on his academic ability ties back to his clear cut expectations, attempts to culturally relate to his students, and witty humor.

In addition to teaching special education math, Mr. Bathgate is also a certified diamontologist, taught TaeKwonDo for three years, and was an animal handler at Zoo America for ten years. He graduated with a masters degree in criminology and education from IUP. 

I also had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Berry, the newest coach/Offensive Coordinator for the football program and math teacher. His primary specialties center around technology, supplementary algebra, algebra one, and algebra two. He had additionally taught math for eleven years before transferring to Mechanicsburg. Outside of teaching, Mr. Berry worked for ESPN on two separate occasions and has also gone skydiving before. 

According to Berry, the first weeks of school went well and he found his students treating him primarily with respect. 

“I hope to do a solid job of integrating technology and real life situations into my math classes, which sometimes can be kind of difficult for specific topic,” Berry told me.

Because of previously meeting some students from the MASH football team, he found himself very lucky to enter the district knowing a bunch of students and faculty. 

I also asked Mr. Berry for any forthcoming advice for new students entering the district. 

“I think that while there is definitely an expectation of effort and executing the proper math steps in my classroom, there is also an understanding that we’re all in this together,” Berry said through a personal interview. “I’d like to be someone that the students feel comfortable talking to about other situations that pop up in their lives.”

One thing to remember for all students and staff: it’s never fun to go through a change in your life alone, especially when the workload can be stressful. To meet two of our newest staff members, you can find Mr. Bathgate in room 103 and Mr. Berry in room 102.