Beloved Teachers Make the Leap to Riverside

Cameiron Jackson, Sports Staff Writer

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With the opening of a new location, Herron High School administrators have reluctantly decided to allow some faculty members to transfer to the second campus of Herron, Riverside High School, in hopes of ensuring the same academic success that Herron is currently known for. Among those leaving are Clifford Kocian, Gary Wetzel, and Emanuel Harper.

Kocian has been teaching 9th grade English and coaching the girl’s basketball team for two years.

“[It] wasn’t an easy decision to make… [but] starting a new school with the foundation of this school is a unique opportunity to prove out model works,” Kocian said.

Wetzel, now completing his third year of teaching World History at Herron, said that he doesn’t “see it as leaving Herron, so much as sharing and expanding the ideas and success of Herron with a larger community.”

Mr. Harper who is transferring after six years at Herron, agreed with Mr. Wetzel.

“‘Leaving’ makes it seem like I’m quitting Herron, leaving the state, and never coming back. Because Riverside is a second campus of Herron High School and some of the faculty will be working at Riverside, I don’t see it as ‘leaving’ Herron per se” Harper said. “It will be a bittersweet transition for me since Herron has defined my teaching career. I will miss walking through the halls that have seen me grow up [as] a teacher, as well as interacting with students I’ve gotten to know since I’ve been at Herron.”

Wetzel also commented on all that he was going to miss.

“I will miss being next to Ms. Ward… and I will miss seeing my advisory every day (shoutout to Wetzel’s Warriors!).”

Kocian, who may or may not be continuing to coach the girl’s basketball team, summed it up for the trio saying he will miss “relationships built over time between teachers and students and teachers and teachers, and seeing students develop over time on a day-to-day basis.”

Teachers aren’t the only ones who are sad to see the change; when asked about what she would miss most about Mr. Kocian, Grace Melrose, class of 2020, said that she will miss “his sarcastic attitude, boxing him [out] in the hallways, and [his] effort to be the best coach.”

Jia Rowland, class of 2019, said of Harper that she will miss “always saying hi in the hallways and his good advice.”

Isabella Lerner, also class of 2020, said she wanted Mr. Wetzel to know that he is “the Wetzel to my pretzel and will never be replaced.”

Whether teacher or student, it is clear that this will be a tough transition and that relationships on both sides of the spectrum will be missed as these special teachers move to serve more students with a quality high school education.

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Beloved Teachers Make the Leap to Riverside