Teachers-they’re just like us

Increasing scientific evidence points to the conclusion that teachers are, in fact, human beings with the same biological composition as the students they teach. Though skeptics abound, it is true that teachers are oxygen necessitating, feelings having, social life enjoying people. And in addition to being confirmed homo sapiens, teachers actually have a lot in common with their pupils, even if it’s not a passion for Renaissance poetry or integration by parts. So instead of focusing on the difference, students might look at the things with which they can identify. Like, hey, we both have first names!

They go to the gym

Like many a Staples student, Principal John Dodig frequents Fitness Edge to get in a workout. In fact, Dodig is at the Edge nearly seven days a week, working out at 5 a.m. on weekdays so he can be at the school to greet his students who have barely managed to guzzle down enough caffeine to keep their eyes open, let alone get in some cardio. He spends 45 minutes on the treadmill at a steep incline four days a week, lifts weights for his upper body two days a week, and works on his legs and abs two days a week, a regimen that more than compares to those of his teenage students.

“I never want to retire,” Dodig said. “I have to stay alive and be able to keep up with you guys.”

They get a caffeine fix before school

        Stop by the Starbucks by Cedar Road or the Post Road Dunkin  at 7:15 on a weekday, and you’re bound to see a slew of Staples students hoping to get their lattes and still make the bell. Roll up to the Dunkin Donuts drive-through in Monroe at 6:30, and you’re bound to see social studies teacher Suzanne Kammerman ordering her usual iced French Vanilla latte, encased in a foam cup to avoid the nuisance of condensation pooling on her desk by second period. She swears that the employees at this Dunkin Donuts are so fast, she probably gets to school earlier on her Dunkin days than when she makes herself a coffee at home. Here, Kammerman may be a bit more concerned with punctuality than some of her fellow caffeine-indulging pupils.

They go to school with their sweetheart

Holding hands in the hallway, kissing in front of classes, these are all teenage couple tropes. But Denise and Jim Honeycutt have a teacher spin on the classic high school romance.

“How do I like having my wife 100 feet away in guidance? Terrific,” Honeycutt said.

They met teaching in adjacent classrooms at Long Lots, then a junior high school, more than 30 years ago, and the guidance counselor and media teacher, now married, have more than 75 years of teaching experience between the two of them. And while this pair is a lot more professional than the average senior boy and girl, they still reap the benefits of sharing a workplace. Honeycutt sometimes stops by and says hi to his wife when he’s getting his mail in the main office, and to see if she’s talked to their kids that day or to catch up, but he never interrupts when she’s with a student, and visa versa. As for their dinner table conversation, the Honeycutts mostly leave school at school, or more aptly, work at work.

They have spirit

Town hall may not come to mind as the rowdiest place, but Superintendent Elliott Landon still occasionally shows some spirit.

“The central office staff aren’t as boring as their positions might sound,” Landon said.

This is evident in their Halloween costumes this year, where Landon is dressed as an unidentified ghoul, and his town hall colleagues are poking fun with gray wigs and business suits to emulate the superintendent himself. And he didn’t even fire them.