Five Teachers Return from Sabbaticals
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 21st, 2012
As students return from summer vacation, we welcome back five faculty members from their sabbaticals last spring. Half or full-year sabbaticals are a unique feature of the Milton experience that offer faculty members a chance to take time off from their busy academic schedule.
Contrary to many other schools, teachers are not required to incorporate academic studies into their sabbaticals. “I could have watched Desperate Housewives for an entire semester if I had wanted to!”jokes English teacher Douglas Fricke.
For two months of his sabbatical last spring, Mr. Fricke embarked on an ancient pilgrimage called “El Camino de Santiago” (The Way of St. James). On his route from Le Puy, France to Roncesvalles, Spain, Mr. Fricke walked over 500 miles through the Spanish Countryside and the Pyrenees Mountains to reach the Cathedral in Northwestern Spain where St. James is said to have been buried. “[The experience] was very humbling,” said Mr. Fricke, who has previously completed the journey over different routes. “These international experiences broaden our lives.” Mr. Fricke’s sabbatical gave him a chance to immerse himself in the Spanish culture and “meet other international people.”
Having taught for fifteen years since his last sabbatical, Walter McCloskey, a member of Milton’s English department, described his semester off as “long overdue.” He spent a month in France, another in his hometown city of New Orleans, and some time in Maine. Mr. McCloskey, a member of Milton’s faculty for over twenty-five years, says “that frankly [he is] relieved to be back, where there is a structure.” Mr. McCloskey looks forward to being back in the classroom.
Hockey coach and Fitness Concepts teacher Paul Cannata used his semester-long break to relax and be with his family. The time gave him “the opportunity to do some things [he had] been putting off for a while.” A trip to Disney world with his two children was one of the highlights of their time spent together. With two young children, he felt it was crucial to spend as much time as possible enjoying their company. After spending a large amount of the summer with family and friends on Cape Cod, Mr. Cannata says that he is ready to be back at Milton. “Although there is more I would have liked to do during my time off, I took a large chunk out of my list.”
Chris Hales, a member of the math department and the head of Forbes House, used his time off to further his knowledge as computer programming teacher by creating two pieces of software used to analyze sports fields. “I have to stay fresh somehow,” said Mr. Hales. “In my opinion, you’re either moving forwards or falling behind”. The integration of technology into sports creates a perfect fit for the varsity wrestling and former football and lacrosse coach. “Each year, my students bring something new to the table. The time and the experience have definitely made me a better teacher.” Mr. Hales also appreciated the opportunity his sabbatical afforded him to spend time with his wife, daughter, and son.
Mr. James Mills of the History and Social Sciences Department was the sole member of Milton’s faculty to take a full-year sabbatical last year. Milton is pleased to welcome back all of five of its returning teachers.
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