Meet the Teacher: Mr. Sweeney

By Chelsea Burke

This year Federal Hocking has opened their arms to an abundance of new staff members, including the new American and World Studies 9 teacher, Mr. Sweeney. This is Mr. Sweeney’s first year teaching and he’s already gained the respect of so many students!

I wanted to interview Mr. Sweeney because I was intrigued to know more about why he chose the subject he did. It’s very rare and inspiring to have a teacher who is so passionate about what they’re teaching, who discusses the topic with you rather than just talking at you. He has always been passionate about how history affects our day to day lives and told me, “There is always a reason for the way society unfolds, and a lot of that comes from a better understanding of historical events. So for me it’s about learning a lesson, and having that lesson make a greater impact not only on yourself but the general thought and view of the world.” 

 Mr. Sweeney is from Cincinnati Ohio, where he went to Walnut Hills High School. Originally he was a pre-law student, but he loved education so much that he decided to go down that route. Last year he was student teaching at Logan Middle School, and this year his graduate assistantship placed him here where he balances his time between teaching classes, and taking classes at Ohio University, where he’s currently working towards his Master of Education degree. I asked him how he was able to push past the difficulties of both teaching and learning, he told me it was all about how you manage your time, “there comes a point in your life where you have to accept that time is not going to be at your disposal, you have to appreciate and adhere to a schedule.” 

In his free time, Mr. Sweeney basically does what we all do after school. He plays basketball, goes out with friends, and, as he said himself, “Plays way too much videogames.” His other serious responsibilities include being on the student senate for Ohio University, and being graduate advisor of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. 

Mr. Sweeney is very thankful to be here at Federal Hocking. He expressed to me how both students and staff are eagerly willing to include him in the community, and he really appreciates how friendly and approachable everyone is, “The student population has been nothing but welcoming”, he told me. The staff is very patient with him, and do a great job at communicating with and supporting him. Especially Mr. Amlin, whom he called a fantastic leader, and said does a great job at mentoring him. Mr. Amlin’s guidance is especially significant considering Mr. Sweeney’s larger goals include becoming a principal. “It’s a very big responsibility, and that’s why I have so much respect for Mr. Amlin.” 

 Next year Mr. Sweeney will most likely be teaching in Columbus. After he gets his master’s in educational leadership he will start working toward his doctorate in order to become a superintendent. Surprised by his high aspirations he told me, “Unfortunately I’ll have to give up my love of history, but fortunately it’s for something greater.”  We’ll all miss him so much, but we have so much hope for him in the future. His great ambitions are so inspiring, yet intimidating, but as he said, “Gotta have lofty goals.” 

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