Teachers’ Firsts

Madison Winter

High school is the time where many students are getting their first jobs, first cars, and seeing their first concerts. It is an exciting time for all the students, as well as for the teachers as they remember their own firsts. The Cosby Bolt asked six teachers from around the school to share their firsts.

First Concert

Today, high school students’ first concerts were artists like Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood, or even the High School Musical cast, but teachers at Cosby have had the privilege of seeing artists and bands the students can only dream about seeing in concert. AP U.S. History teachers Nicole Winter and Chris Averill both saw 70’s and 80’s legends. Winter’s first concert was Donna Summer who, for those unfamiliar with her, sings “Last Dance.” Averill’s first concert was James Taylor, known by the millennial generation for singing the classic hit from Toy Story, “You’ve Got A Friend.” Amber Mierchuk, AP Calculus teacher, saw New Kids on the Block with her dad; Scott McKeag, Economics teacher, saw rock band legend, Aerosmith.  Renee Serrao, AP Government teacher, saw R.E.M. at UHall in Charlottesville, who is known famously in this generation for singing “It’s The End of the World as We Know It.” Courtney Lee, German teacher, saw Hall and Oates, best known for singing “Rich Girl” and “You Make My Dreams.” AP English teacher Rita-Marie Hensley’s first concert was the B-52s, famous for singing “Love Shack.” History teacher Robert Herting actually saw his first concert on a first date. It was Rick Springfield, famous for “Jessie’s Girl” and he said, “needless to say, that relationship did not last long!”

First Job

Many students are starting to get their first jobs as cashiers and waiters/waitresses, but Square image for articlethe teachers of Cosby had very different first jobs. Serrao’s first job was as a library page at LaPrade Library. She said it was “great pay” and she “did not work Sundays or weekend evenings, and had first chance at the new books as they came in.” Lee’s first job was a runner at a Law Firm and Bryant’s was as a Secretary for Wetlands Development at Koontz-Bryant. Mierchuk was a babysitter and McKeag was a busboy and dishwasher at Paul Revere’s Pizza. Hensley coached and taught baton twirling, while Averill was a paperboy for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. However, Winter and Herting had very similar jobs to what teenagers are starting out doing today. Winter worked in the drive thru at Roy Rogers and Herting worked in the drive thru at McDonalds. Herting said, “we would race to see how fast we could go to serve customers. This was new technology in 1985 so it was fun. We crushed those lunch rushes.”

First Subject Love

Students assume that because teachers teach a certain subject, they must have loved it their whole lives, but that is not the case. Surprisingly, Herting and Winter both loved science, considering they both became history teachers. Herting enjoyed Earth Science because he “LOVED weather.” However, after he was made to be Ben Franklin in the constitutional convention by his history teacher, he was hooked on history. Lee, however, fell in love with history before studying German in college. Serrao loved English because she loved to read. “I was planning on majoring in English before I took government and AP U.S. History,” she says. Averill loved gym class, as many high schoolers do, but it led to his love for running and a position as a cross country coach for much of his teaching career. Now, some teachers stuck with their passion and continued with it in their careers. Hensley’s love for English has remained with her as well as Bryant’s love for history and Mierchuk’s love for math.

First Car

When students reach age 16, all they can think about is driving and getting their very own car. Winter had a Dodge Challenger. Mierchuk drove a red Ford Escort and McKeag drove a blue 1993 Buick Regal Custom, with a luggage rack and a 3800 engine. Bryant’s was a 1996 Acura Integra and Averill’s was a 1978 Cutlass Salon 4 door. Serrao suffered from a condition most high schoolers will recognize: driving a preowned car. She says it was “some sort of Datsun” that she was the proud fourth owner of, “and it used to stall out at intersections.” Hensley also suffered when it came to the entertainment aspect of her Horizon because it only had an A.M. radio. Herting’s car, a 1968 Chrysler Newport was “SO big it could fit 7 and [he] had to sit on a phone book to see the road.” Lee, however, did not experience the setbacks the other teachers did because she started off with a Mercedes 300D.

First Celebrity Crush

The most entertaining answers came when teacher revealed their first celebrity crush. MaScreenshot 2016-03-21 at 12.49.56 PMny girls can agree with Mierchuk and Bryant as theirs were Tom Cruise (pictured) and Orlando Bloom, respectively. Serrao’s was Harrison Ford. She said, “He was a lot older than me because I was only 10 when I first saw Star Wars, but I figured he might wait for me.” Winter’s was Shaun Cassidy, Hensley’s was Donnie Osmond, and Lee’s was Fred Savage, who many know from The Wonder Years. Averill’s was Jennifer Beals from Flashdance fame and McKeag’s was “a toss up between Jodie Sweetin (who many know as Stephanie Tanner from Full House) and Tiffani Amber-Thiessen” who played Kelly from Saved by the Bell.

Photos Courtesy of Inti St. Clair (Getty Images) and Ron Galetta, Ltd. (Getty Images)