Sophomore Georgia Cheek is the second child of Attendance/Receptionist Jill Cheek to attend McNicholas. Her first, Jacob Cheek, graduated in the Class of 2016. “I enjoy bringing Georgia to school and seeing her throughout the day. Working here has allowed me to get to know her friends, and I love that,” Jill said. Georgia did not think she was going to like having her mom work at the school because she thought she was not going to have the extra freedom she was looking forward to. Both began their journeys at McNick in Georgia’s freshman year, and now that she has a year experience, Georgia said, “I don’t know what I would have done without her.”
Neither Jill nor Georgia have experienced any negatives being together at McNicholas. “It makes my day when Georgia stops in to say ‘hi,’” Jill said. “I feel really lucky to work where my kids go to school. I get to have a front row seat for their day to day lives here at McNick,” she added.
“It is nice having her there because she is like a mom to all my friends, so I love how all my friends love her,” Georgia said. “I think it’s hilarious when people come up to me about her emails,” she added.
Beth Custer had children attending McNicholas for four years before she began working at the school as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Admissions. Now, two of her children, senior Evan Custer and freshman Kate Custer are at McNicholas with her. Last year, when Kate was going through the admissions process, Beth was working the same process in the Admissions Office. “It gave me some sympathy for all the other 8th grade parents and students going through the same thing,” Beth said. Now that they are both here, Beth enjoys being nearby, “In case they need something, want to talk, or have a change in after-school plans.” She also loves how they are on the same schedule and have the same days off.
English teacher Jeff Mulvey and his daughter, freshman Izzy Mulvey, start each homeroom-scheduled day in the same hallway. Before the school day even begins, however, the Mulveys ride to school together each morning. “The ride to school is so much cooler now,” Jeff said. “I don’t have to talk to myself anymore.” Jeff went on to say that the best thing about having Izzy at McNick is seeing and hearing about the great impact that teachers like Mr. Corbett and Ms. Bonekamp, among others, are having on her. “I think it’s cool that her teachers are my colleagues and friends,” Jeff said. The only downside of the whole situation, is that he has to shell out her lunch money, so “I am always broke,” Jeff said. While Izzy does not have her dad as a teacher this year, Jeff said he would love having her in class because she works hard and participates. “I would be proud and excited to spend some time with her in class,” Jeff said.
Freshman Donald Noble is the first of English teacher Angie Noble’s children to join her at Rocket High. Angie referred to the school as her “home away from home,” and worried about having to share it with her son because of the awkwardness that might present itself. Now a semester into Donald’s freshman year, Angie said “It’s been fine,” and that the experience has been a positive one. She said that Donald grew up at McNick when he was younger, and that when he was really young, her journalism students would play “Pass Donald through the windows.”
Donald said he had no worries about having his mother as a teacher. She always reminds him to do his English homework, so he said he never gets away without doing it. He also said that there is a “meme Christmas tree” in her classroom which has been a source of entertainment recently. While Donald did admit to being embarrassed by his mother sometimes, he agreed that it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Theology teacher Mary Beth Sandmann (’79) currently has her two youngest children at McNicholas with her. David, now a theology teacher like his mother, completed his days as a Rocket student in 2004, and his sister Lisa is a member of this year’s senior class of 2017. One day during her freshman year, Lisa was talking to one of her friends in the courtyard about how weird it was to have her brother at school, and her friend asked, “Do you ever just yell ‘YO DAVE!’” David happened to be walking behind them at the time her friend shouted out. Lisa said she was actually pretty worried about having her mom and brother at the school and that it was “a bit awkward the first time I was in my mom’s class, and then again in my brother’s.” She is in her fourth semester in her mother’s class, and has had her brother once. “The worst part has been people saying that I didn’t actually deserve a good grade,” Lisa said. Despite this, she said that it has been fine for the most part, that she has loved everything about her time at McNick, and would never change any part of it. “I have loved having my family here with me,” Lisa said.
While David never had his mother as a teacher, he did have Lisa as a student for a semester. “She did well in my class and mostly tried to sit in the back and keep quiet,” he said. Lisa did take the opportunity to prank him one day though. “She got into my classroom after school and put confetti on top of my ceiling fans. The next day in class, she asked me to turn the fans on and it started ‘snowing’ in my classroom,” David said. “I haven’t forgotten about that.”