Retiree returns


Caleb Carrasquillo

James O’Brien teaches one of his Algebra 2 classes on Monday, Dec. 14. O’Brien filled in for Gary Mahoney for the last part of the second semester.

Logan Flake, Reporter

As Math teacher James O’Brien’s days of teaching were slowly coming close to an end, a celebratory countdown started on his Facebook page.

What started as a simple countdown turned to almost daily mathematic equations that varied in difficulty, each with a solution that was the same as the number of workdays O’Brien had left until his retirement would begin. All of this was a result of the anticipation O’Brien felt for the end of the school year and, ultimately, the end of his days as a teacher and the beginning of something new.

“There is a certain degree of readiness whenever you make a lifestyle change…that’s really where I was at this point,” O’Brien said. “I felt it was time to do something a little different.”

However, O’Brien, who retired from his position as a math teacher at SHS at the end of last year, has come out of retirement temporarily to take over for`Algebra teacher Gary Mahoney. This situation arose after Mahoney left his teaching position because of health issues.

Now that O’Brien has had some time to settle into the position, which will last him up until the end of this semester, he says that he enjoys it. This comes in part because all he has to do is simply teach math.

“I don’t have to do all of the things that other staff members have to do as far as the responsibilities of the job,” O’Brien said. “I just come in and teach my classes and work with students, so that part of it is enjoyable. I’ve always enjoyed that.”

However, this doesn’t mean that O’Brien doesn’t miss some of the things that came with being retired. In this case though, O’Brien felt that stepping in to fill Mahoney’s shoes and help students for the last part of the semester was the right thing to do.

“Getting up early in the morning has been the biggest drag, and I’m not able to do some of the things that I had started to do as a result of being retired, which I miss,” O’Brien said, “But, I felt that there was a need. It felt to me like, in this situation, for the sake of the students in Mr. Mahoney’s class, it was something I should do. That was the reason I did it.”

Sophomore Brittany Patterson says that O’Brien taking over has been a welcomed change as opposed to the constant string of substitutes and educational videos that were regular during Mahoney’s absence.

“I’ve had O’Brien before, so I’m used to his way of teaching,” Patterson said. “It was nice to actually have a teacher back as opposed to learning from videos.”