Mr. Carey, longtime Andover Social Studies teacher, has been called back to the Navy, putting his teaching career on pause for at least a year. His last day was Friday, September 26.

Mr. Carey said goodbye to students Friday, his last day before returning to the Navy for at least one year. (Courtesy Photo)
Mr. Carey said goodbye to students Friday, his last day before returning to the Navy for at least one year. (Courtesy Photo)

There was speculation at the end of last year that Mr. Carey would be deployed then, but the call came just about two weeks ago: he would have to be mobilized to his duty as a Funeral Honor Guard in Manchester, N.H.

Carey explained that a Funeral Honor Guard “helps deceased veterans get funeral honors at their events.” He will work with the program N.O.S.C. (Naval Operational Support Center), which has helped cover over 700 funerals for deceased veterans.

As for leaving his teaching responsibilities to go back to his Honor Guard duties, Carey said, “It was a good opportunity. To do something positive doesn’t come around often.” Even though the position might not sound challenging, Carey emphasized that “it is not as easy as people think.”

Because of state law and how Carey is involved with the Navy, he is guaranteed a teaching position in the town of Andover when he returns. His return date will be determined. He called teaching “the greatest job I’ve ever had. I’m surprised they pay me for something this good. What’s not to like?”

Carey said he does not know how the replacement process works or who will be taking over his classes—with the exception of AP U.S. History. The replacement is Mrs. Chachus, who in the past week has transitioned to getting to know another class. For the most part, the transition has been stellar.

Students throughout the school donned Hawaiian shirts, a Carey trademark, to bid the beloved teacher farewell Friday. (Courtesy Photo)
Students throughout the school donned Hawaiian shirts, a Carey trademark, to bid the beloved teacher farewell Friday. (Courtesy Photo)

When we first heard about Mr. Carey leaving at a department meeting,” Mrs. Chachus said, “my first thought was the students and making sure they were still provided with a teacher that was familiar with the AP curriculum, rather than a substitute that would have had to learn quickly.”

Mrs. Chachus said, “The transition was not that difficult based off the knowledge I know, but I knew it was going to be more work.”

Senior Johnny Tyner, an AP U.S. student, said at first the news that Carey was leaving was “shocking, I didn’t believe it at first.” But with Chachus replacing Carey, Tyner said the transition has been “nice and smooth, like a combination of glass and butter. I feel like I am in capable loving hands [under Chachus].”

As for Carey’s family, hesaid he will be commuting every day to Manchester, N. H., to serve his duties, which will mean he will still be able to see his family just as if he were teaching. “It is still a regular job. For this situation it is a win-win: it is the benefits without the bullets.”

By Nick Valeri