Congratulations to Shoreham-Wading River High School’s Class of 2014. The security of being under the watchful eyes of your teachers is now over. You will now go on in life to either full-time employment, military training or full-time studies, furthering your education near or far, and will be the master of your own destiny.
It’s time to do what you wish but there will be rewards and penalties for each choice. How many times have you heard, “It’s all about your choices?” Good choices yield good fruit, but bad choices can really get your attention. Good luck as you pursue your destiny and begin a new chapter in your life, written by you.
Speaking of beginning a new chapter, it is sad to have to say goodbye to Kevin Mann, community relations/global studies teacher at the high school who is retiring after 40 years. Room A206 was where his students learned to get involved in projects to assist the needy, such as Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds and repairs homes all over the world using volunteer labor and donations, and Hope Children’s Fund, which helps support an orphanage in Kenya. Rose Andrews, staff writer for the high school newspaper, the Wildcat Pause, penned that Mr. Mann knew in kindergarten that he wanted to be a teacher. In high school he made that declaration to his guidance counselor and she laughed at him. However, fate had its way. Mr. Mann became a teacher and he was a great one. He started working at Shoreham-Wading River High School in 1975 and has been teaching there since. Not only have Mr. Mann’s students learned from him, but he has learned from them as well. Defining teaching, he said: “Teaching is passing a baton to a student who then does something with it.” Of the Global Awareness Club, which began in 1983, he said, “The club has done amazing things and I hope it continues to do so.” The club will have two new advisers in the fall.
Mr. Mann plans to continue his good deeds following his career at SWR and hopes to do more work for schools in Kenya and with Habitat for Humanity. He may also become involved in an international import/export business. About his future, he said, “I’m moving on to my next chapter.”
Another magnificent feat involves the SWR boys track team. At the entrance to the high school is a brightly colored banner that reads: “SWR Boys ‘Emerging Elite’ Distance Medley Relay Race Runners are National Champions.” Four SWR Wildcat yellow paws mark the names of track team members Keith, Connor, Matt and Ryan. That is incredible, gentlemen. We salute you for your dedication, skill and courage. Congratulations also to the entire team as well as the coaches.
Sorry to say that this is all I have room for. I wish you well until we meet here again in two weeks.
Contact Wading River columnist Elizabeth Taggart at [email protected] or 929-5933.