PHOTO CAPTION: Mr. Remy teaches his students how geometry and algebra work together in an after-school help session. Remy is truly invested in helping his students achieve their math goals and makes sure that extra help is always available after school or during an H block. “I have been teaching math for over 15 years now and I really enjoy it,” he said.
By Camille Storch
NEW TO TOWN THIS YEAR, MR. REMY IS ALREADY FINDING HIS PLACE AT AHS, TEACHING THREE GEOMETRY AND TWO PRECALCULUS CLASSES.
What would you be doing right now if you were not teaching?
That’s a really good question. If I was not teaching, and I didn’t have to worry about money, I would be a carpenter. I would probably not make a lot of money out of it because I’m not good at it, but I think you have to get apprenticeships for that job, so I think I would get an apprenticeship. If I had to worry about money, I would probably go into the technology field as my undergraduate degree is in computer engineering. But those are my two answers, the one that I would have to do and the one that I would want to do.
What are your biggest interests besides math?
I like Legos and origami, which is sort of geometry in a way and woodworking, like I had mentioned prior.
What prompted you to become a teacher?
I got my degree in computer engineering, and, when I did, all of the technology companies and their stock went down massively, so there was this big [thing] that they called a tech bubble, that burst. So none of the tech companies were hiring anybody and none of the people I was graduating with could find jobs. I became a substitute teacher in the high school that I went to, Durfee High School in Fall River, where I grew up and while I was there they had a teacher who was out for a while. They asked me, ‘Do you mind teaching the class since you have a math background?’and so I did that and the kids were animals, yet I really enjoyed it, and I decided that I would get into teaching.
Why did you want to work at Andover High School?
I knew that Andover was a school and town that cared about education and I knew that the kids in Andover would take school seriously and would work hard. That’s the reputation of Andover High School, from what I’ve heard, not having lived closed by here. Since I moved to New Hampshire, I needed to teach somewhere that was close to the border, so good schools [that are] close to the border, Andover was one of a few. That’s why I came here.
Do you have a most interesting teaching story?
Hmmm. I think so, I think it’s maybe funny. [Chuckles.] I am teaching, I was on the first floor of the first school I taught at…and the students are all looking over the window so I look over and I see one of my students outside, telling for the kids to come open the door to the school. So I go meet him outside the class and was like, ‘Why weren’t you in school? WhHere did you go?’ and he said, ‘I forgot to turn on the crockpot and my mom says that if I didn’t turn it on, I wouldn’t have dinner, so I went home to turn on the crock pot and then I came back.’
What is your biggest fear?
In life or in teaching? If in life, it would probably be ending up homeless. Like just, some people get sick and then they spend all of the their money on that and they have no money for this… my fears are usually surrounding money and just all of the sudden having none and having no way to get more. So I would say it is all of the above.
Most interesting or unique activity that you have taken part in?
I used to be the president of the prison book program in Quincy, Massachusetts. The prison book program is a nonprofit-all volunteer that sends free books to prisoners in the United States. It’s something that I don’t think that anyone would imagine that I did that, but I did that for about five to six years and we sent thousands of books to people who wanted to improve their education. A lot of them wanted to learn sign language, so that they could communicate without the guards knowing. A lot also were interested in witchcraft, which I thought was odd. But there were a lot of people who just wanted to learn a skill so that when [they] left the prison, [they] could get a job. A lot of people in prison don’t have an education and not having [one], they have limited options. Then illegal things are brought into their lives to make money, so it is great to know that they have realized the value of [education].