WHAT ACTIVITIES DO TEACHERS DO? 


Photos by Swetha Nakshatri

CHOIR TEACHER JOHN BURLACE

For how long have you been teaching at CHS?

This is my second year.

When did you start doing music arrangements for groups?

I started arranging music for my own groups probably about … well right when I started teaching, so about 13,14 years ago. Then I started branching out and writing for other people within the past six or seven years.

Why did you start doing your own arrangements?

I had to do my own arrangements to solve issues that were there and not everything that was written was written perfectly for the students that I had so I just kind of made some changes and it all started off by just sort of swapping some things around to make it better for my kids and then filling in some gaps that needed to be filled in and then I just got tired of always changing and revising and just started to do it from scratch myself.

What’s your favorite part about that process?

Now, my favorite part is being able to take the strengths of a group and write for that or take into account the weaknesses of a group and make sure to avoid those issues. So my favorite part (is that) it’s kind of like a big puzzle, figuring out how to make the group sound as good as they can possibly sound.

SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER KATIE KELLY

For how long have you been teaching at CHS?

This is my ninth year of teaching at CHS.

What exactly is an Ironman?

An Ironman triathlon is a triathlon that involves a 2.4-mile swim, followed by 112-mile bike ride and finished off with a 26.2-mile run that you have 17 hours to complete.

How long does it take to train for an Ironman?

Really it takes somewhere between 6-9 months of hard training, but that’s on top of at least a year of base training.

What made you decide that you wanted to do Ironman Triathlons?

On TV I saw the Ironman World Championship, and I thought that it was just almost this impossible accomplishment but then I had friends who did it, and I saw it as a great personal challenge that they undertook, and, for them and for me, as well, it represented setting a goal that seemed impossible and then being able to create a plan and execute it to make it a reality.

ENGLISH TEACHER JERRY BRICKLEY

For how long have you been teaching at CHS?

This is my 26th year.

How did you get interested in reenacting?

It’s actually because of school … when I started teaching here the legend of King Arthur was in the English 10 curriculum, and I called out to Old Indiana Fun Park at the time because they had a Renaissance festival, and I got a phone number for a group, and two guys came out and did a demonstration, and I got hooked.

How long have you been reenacting?

About 25 years.

You mentioned that you do two major time periods of reenactment; can you explain those?

Originally I did medieval (reenactment), I was in a group that did full-contact jousting on horseback and fighting with steel weapons at Renaissance festivals. We retired from that about four years ago. I also do Civil War (reenactment) …I rode Civil War cavalry for a number of years and I do French and Indian War (reenactment).

What exactly is reenactment?

Reenacting is a form of social history. The idea is to create the image of what life would have been like in the time period for the public to take a look at and be educated and to experience. As a reenactor, you are playing a role to a large extent so that you’re trying to show them what these people wore, how they spoke, the activities that they did.

Do you have a favorite memory from reenacting?

Oh dear, there’s too many in that many years. I remember getting knighted. I think that’s probably one of the most important ones when I was doing medieval (reenactment). Yeah, there’s way too many to list.

SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER PETE O’HARA

For how long have you been teaching at CHS?

This is my 16th year.

How long were you in the military?

23 years.

What was your role in the military?

I was a field artillery officer. Field artillery is big guns, cannons (and) rocket missiles. I started as a 2nd lieutenant – that’s the lowest officer’s rank – and worked my way all the way up to lieutenant colonel. I retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Do you have a powerful moment that came from your time in the military?

Oh I have a bunch of them. I don’t know if I can ever say that there’s one that’s more powerful than others. If you listened to my speech on Veteran’s Day I had a moment that I’ll never forget that it was powerful in that it was just eye-opening for me, and it was that middle of the night, 2 a.m., in Grafenwoehr which is a huge training site in Germany, and it was freezing cold, and we had had a huge snowstorm, and we were up at two in the morning shooting fire missions, shooting our big cannons, and we still had fire missions at that time … I was sitting in my Jeep watching the cannons fire and listening to my radio, communicating with my commander on my radio, and it was so cold and I thought, my friends back in the United States don’t get to do this. So then I realized that I really was making a difference and I was good at what I was doing.

How you say that your military service has impacted you as a teacher?

As a teacher, it’s given me insight into why people do the things they do and how on a different level. I’ve met people from all over the world so as far as psychology goes, I’ve dealt with people of all different nationalities, all different cultures, all different races. I have met them, I’ve lived in their countries, I’ve served with them, I have defended them, I’ve fought them. So, I mean, that gives you a tremendous amount of insight and experience that most people never get.

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Olivia Jacko