Exceptional WHS Educators Teach Students Lessons that Last for Life

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Madison Dalton, News Editor

Wellington High School is full of inspirational teachers who have had a deep, positive impact on students’ lives. Many of these teachers take their job a step further than simply teaching students how to succeed in academics, as they impact skills that will help them succeed in life.
One such educator is beloved music teacher, Mr. Chase.
When asked what the most memorable moment he had while teaching was, Chase explains that every day counts.
“If you don’t have a memorable moment on a daily basis, I’m not sure what you’re doing because this could easily beat you down.” Chase says. “There’s something about an ‘everyday’, a moment with some student somewhere that is really important to that student and you have to understand when that moment is for each kid because the odds of having every student have that moment at the exact same time are extremely small.”
Myles Blatt, senior, explains that the impact Mr. Chase has on his life extends far beyond the classroom.
“[Mr. Chase] has helped me through a lot of stuff and get over a lot of things,” Blatt says. “He’s a great man. He made me very optimistic and made me really fit in; and because of him directly, I found a great group of people who I love, honestly, I love them. He’s really taught me to be a better person.”
Chase places a high value on being himself when with his students.
“Any student can look at any teacher and realize who’s honest and genuine and who’s not,” Chase says. “If I were to suddenly like stand up in front of everyone and be a jerk, no one would respect me because that’s not who I am and I wouldn’t get those [meaningful moments with students]…People get older and …they say ‘this generation’s different’. No it’s not; it’s exactly the same. Every single person my age complained about my generation and you’re [going to] complain about the generation that comes after you because times change, you change. Kids don’t change.”

Admired math teacher and coach, Mr. Mucino is another educator whose impact on students has gone far beyond teaching standard course material.
“[My general philosophy towards teaching is] to enjoy what I’m doing and make a difference for that one kid,” Mucino said.
Mucino recalls one student in particular whom he impacted.
“There’s a student of mine that I had many, many years ago, and I taught him in three straight years,” Mucino said. “He was a regular student and he was doing really well. When he was a sophomore he said he liked how I taught and he wanted to have my class again, so he took trig. When [I told him I was going to be teaching AP Calculus] the next year, he said, ‘I want to be in that class’, and I said, ‘but you’re not ready and he said, ‘but I want to be in that class’. He ended up being the top student in that class, and later on, when he went to college, he ended up being a mathematician.”
Paolo Dumancas is one student who has had Mr. Mucino as a teacher for two years in a row.
“When I got to [Mr. Mucino’s class he taught me to think differently. [He taught me that] there’s more than one way to do something and he encourages it,” Dumancas, junior, said. “It’s like this new way of approaching the problem that’s given [by identifying] the problem and then [pulling] out all the information to solve it. I had never thought about doing that before, and it’s really cool that I can apply that to other places, not just Calculus,” Dumancas, junior, said.
In fact, Mr. Mucino makes an effort to stress the importance of applying concepts learned in his class to life in general.
“I try to teach students to think no necessarily just mathematically but in other ways,” Mucino says. “ I think they can see that math is more than just numbers and symbols; it’s about philosophies and ideas and a way of life…[I try to remind] them what is important and what is not so important. Everything is important but some things are more important than others and that was my biggest pet peeve: it’s not [the grade] you get; it’s what you learn.”
This is a statement that art teacher Mrs. Brown, another highly impactful educator at our school, agrees with strongly.
“I try to develop an attitude in students to want to learn more,” Brown states. “It’s not just about the grade; it’s to learn and to love knowledge.”
Tyler Sponder, senior, explains that Ms. Brown’s philosophy had a significant, positive impact in his life.
“Ms. Brown influenced me to become involved in school,” Sponder says. “[She was] influential upon me trying to improve myself and be a better student.
Chase, Mucino, and Brown all work hard at trying to make their impact on students extend beyond a year-long course.
“I’d like to tell [students] to continue with their education, to know how important it is, and to not be afraid to make mistakes and to learn from your mistakes,” Brown says.
Mr. Chase emphasizes to students the importance of having the courage and contentment to believe that they have value and are capable of overcoming the difficulties everyday life presents.
“Give yourself an A,” Chase says.
It is clear that Wellington High School is blessed with many teachers who genuinely care about their students and go above and beyond merely teaching a subject. They teach lessons that will follow students through life.