When the final bell rings on the last day of school, students are set free to spend their summer vacations sleeping in, spending time with friends, and often taking up summer employment that will come to an end once the school year resumes. They sometimes forget that their teachers are on a well-deserved summer vacation as well. With almost three months of time on their hands, McNicholas teachers all have different ways of spending their breaks.
“I think I’m home for less time during summer vacation than I am during the school year,” religion teacher Paula Yerke said. “There really isn’t a weekend that isn’t booked for me. I’ll be travelling to Miami, Chicago, and spending some time with my family in our cabin in the Smoky Mountains… I prefer to kick back and relax during my break!”
Yerke certainly isn’t alone in using her summer vacation for a little rest and relaxation. Science teacher Regina Goines enjoys staying at home during break, catching up on hobbies such as gardening, reading, and quilting.
When he’s not spending his free time with his kids, English teacher Jeff Mulvey stays active in the school community as a coach for the McNicholas football team. “I love being out there coaching the boys,” Mulvey said. “But all of my extra time is going to be devoted to my kids, whether it’s spending the day with them at King’s Island, or taking them downtown to see a Reds game.”
Spanish teacher and track coach Kyle Jepson has a rather interesting to-do list. “Over break, I hope to make my own cheese, perfect a recipe for strawberry jam, and train for a marathon,” Jepson said. “I also plan on publishing a novel I wrote two years ago and taking my son to his very first Reds game,” Jepson said.
Cross-country traveling is another common theme amongst the plans of McNicholas teachers. English teacher Meloney Feldkamp will be attending the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska for the seventh year in a row, with her husband. Health/P.E. teacher Cheryl Heise has planned a family cruise around the Caribbean, math teacher Stacy Berling and her new husband will be heading to the Dominican Republic, and math teacher Mary Honkonen will be journeying down the east coast before heading across the U.S. to spend a week in Tucson, Arizona.
Though McNicholas teachers will find some time to relax, studies such as the one conducted by the New Jersey Press, show that summertime isn’t actually much of a vacation for teachers at all. About 67% of the survey’s respondents reported that they worked a second job over the break.
When she’s not teaching, math teacher Stacey Berling takes up a job as a pharmacy technician, something that she’s been doing since her own high school days. Photography teacher Ellyn Whiteash runs her own business as a day-of wedding coordinator, and math teacher Jack Kaniecki has spent his last five summers serving tables at Arthur’s in Hyde Park (though this year he will be busy taking care of his newborn son, who is expected later this May).
Ceramics and Architecture teacher Melissa Gaskins is a certified trainer at BodyMindBalance Cincinnati, where she teaches gyrotonics and gyrokinesis.
“I like to stay busy over the break,” Gaskins said. “When I’m not working, you can find me on any given lake, practicing for Paddlefest 2013, which I’ll be competing in this summer. If I’m not on a board, chances are I’ll be in a kayak, unless it’s raining, in which case I’ll be working in my home art studio or planning a road trip to destinations unknown!”
No matter what teachers have planned for the upcoming break, it’s a common consensus among McNick students – they deserve it.