Top teacher tops layoff list

Cypress High’s “teacher of the year” is tops on the layoff list, reports the Orange County (California) Register.

English teacher Phil Hohensee retired in 2007 for 45 days, changing his mind when the principal begged him to come back. He counts as a new hire; without seniority, he’s almost certain to be laid off.

Hohensee, 56, is well-known among both the students and the faculty at the school for his engaging—and demanding—teaching style. He paces back and forth in front of the lectern, pointing at one student, then the next, drilling them on the day’s lesson.

“He’ll push you until you get it,” confirmed senior Chelsey Crofts, 18. She had him for two classes when she was a freshman and “he was my favorite teacher right off the bat. I was sure I was going to learn a lot from him.”

And the students do. Principal Ben Carpenter said Hohensee’s students’ standardized test scores are consistently some of the highest at theaward-winning school.

“The guy is just a phenomenal teacher,” Carpenter said. “He teaches from bell to bell” and then some; Hohensee has held Saturday classes on his own time to make sure his students know the material. “And the kids love him,” Carpenter continued. “They’re in his room at lunch, they’re in there after school.”

After polling student, the school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association gave the Teacher of the Year award to Hohensee.

A Marine veteran, Hohensee also serves as a Baptist minister.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Ponderosa says:

    Wait a minute –how can he be a good teacher? His class sounds so teacher-centered! That’s heresy in ed school.

  2. Teacher says:

    What a good lesson for students on saying what you mean, risks and consequences, and thinking through your actions. Had he not retired, he wouldn’t be in this mess. Now he’s getting what he wanted anyway.

  3. And he’s a baby-killer to boot. We don’t want or need “those kind” in our schools.

  4. Tom in GA says:

    Clearly this benefits the students so much… you can tell where the priorities are in CA.

    Wait, nothing new here, move along.

  5. Not just a baby-killer, but a Christianist bigot!!!!!!!!

  6. Mark Roulo says:

    What a good lesson for students on saying what you mean, risks and consequences, and thinking through your actions. Had he not retired, he wouldn’t be in this mess. Now he’s getting what he wanted anyway.

    I don’t get the impression that the problem is the he *really* wants to keep teaching.

    The problem seems to be that the school is letting go one of its better teachers, not by accident, but because the layoff system doesn’t take into account teacher skill. I can see how some people might think this sub-optimal for the kids.

    -Mark Roulo