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An Academic Disgrace

Students past and present are outraged at the potential loss of Mr. Cheney from Waterford High School.

Word is quickly spreading through social media from Waterford High School students about the looming threat of Mr. Cheney, a history teacher, losing his job at the end of this year. Waterford High School has been cutting teachers for the past few years, however, students, as well as myself, are vehemently speaking out against this and urging all to contact Superindent Belair and demand that Mr. Cheney keep his job. The outrage and despair that students, past and present, are showing in support of him stands as a testament to his positive impact on them and the fact that Waterford High School cannot afford to lose such a great educator. Here is the original posting that sparked the rest:

 "Attention all Waterford District students, alumni, and parents: 

 Waterford High School is planning on cutting a social studies position at the end of the academic year. While this sort of decision may seem par for the course considering the administration’s generous layoffs in years prior, the simple fact is the school is cutting their best, most effective teacher: Mr. Ian Cheney. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Cheney or the good fortune of being in his class understands the absurdity of such a decision.

This is an academic disgrace.

The superb quality of this man’s teaching ability cannot be overstated. Mr. Cheney is a teacher who challenges his students and cares about their education on a holistic level. While teachers elsewhere bore their students with preparation for standardized tests, Mr. Cheney provokes a deeper intellectualism within his students. He emphasizes teaching how to think, rather than a recitation of course material. His lectures are discussions in which students can exercise their critical thinking and rhetorical skills. Students are encouraged to be independent thinkers instead of mindless test takers. 

 In our country, we are losing too many good teachers to abusive tenure policies, lack of incentives, and despicable budget cuts. Good teachers should be promoted over everything, including age and length of career. It is not just for Mr. Cheney’s sake that this issue should be addressed, but for the academic future of all students in the Waterford district. 

 I urge anyone who has been personally influenced by Mr. Cheney or knows someone who has to contact the superintendent and principal to voice their concerns. Emails, letters, and calls to the administration are vital to letting them know that we wish to keep our best teachers. If we want an educated, motivated youth we must have passionate and quality teachers. Let them know that you want Mr. Cheney to stay.

Here is the email of the superintendent and principal of Waterford High:

dmacrino@waterfordschools.org

 jbelair@waterfordschools.org

 Phone: 860.437.6956

 Fax: 860.447.7928"

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lauren Shaw January 13, 2013 at 03:28 AM
UPDATE: He has been offered a position at the middle school, but is looking for employment elsewhere. Nothing is definite yet, however I still encourage those who have been touched by Mr. Cheney to contact Mr. Belair and ask him to reconsider.
Erin Paul January 13, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Why is it that WHS can't afford to keep Mr. Cheney, but they could afford to pay for two principals this year? Teachers are the backbone of a school, and to get rid of one who so obviously motivates students to care about history is just foolish.
Tim Fioravanti January 13, 2013 at 04:43 PM
WHS is not paying for 2 principals, only one.
Erin Paul January 13, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Oh good, I thought I read that they were paying Mr. Macrino to stay on while another principal was starting up this year. Regardless, teachers are very important and the administration should listen to the students!
Lora Justin Virga January 13, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Administration needs to be let go not teachers.We have three at the high school. It would save Waterford lots of money. We do have less students but we should not let go of are great teachers . Our children need to learn. I have said this over and over at the board of education meetings.
Sabrina Pezzello January 13, 2013 at 07:00 PM
I graduated this past year. There are many teachers... And let me emphasize, MANY teachers at Waterford High School that I believe do not show the passion/intellect to teach any longer. I have had many incredible teachers like Ms. Thibeau and Mr. Cadorette who have been at the school quite a while but continue to teach with a passion that cannot be matched. Mr. Cheney is one of those teachers.... I agree that teachers should not be let go because of seniority......just like Profe was let go. It's crazy because she was the only person that actually taught Spanish the correct way.... So sad.
Shefer January 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM
dont fire cheney!
Shefer January 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM
seriously, he's a hell of a teacher. he got the whole class into actually learning.
Tim Fioravanti January 14, 2013 at 02:14 AM
OK. So there will be two Principals at some point. It will happen as to make a smoother transition. The money for that will most likely come out of this year's budget. Next year is another animal.
Tim Fioravanti January 14, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I have to disagree. Waterford High needs three administrators. One history teaching position is being eliminated at the high school due to smaller enrollment.
farm guy January 16, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Erin, Mr. Macrino retired at the end of last year. He has a deal to stay on through the end of the construction. Therefore, he collects his pension, roughly $100K and a salary(roughly $145,000). They will begin looking in the spring for his replacement, who will also be working before Mr. Macrino leaves.
farm guy January 16, 2013 at 03:38 AM
That's interesting. My thought's of Ms. Thibeau are the exact opposite of Sabrina's.

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