Exodus of Pankonen


Trevor Riley teaching a class | Kimberly Flores

In a sudden turn of events, history teacher Caroline Pankonen left A-TECH as of September 29. Pankonen’s resignation was reportedly voluntary, as a revised budget for the 2017-2018 school year required the reduction of a social studies position. With her absence, most of her classes were handed off to new blood among the A-TECH staff, history teacher Trevor Riley.

Riley took five of Pankonen’s classes: three sections of World History Honors, one regular World History, and one AP European History. Robert Henderson took the last remaining class. Four of Riley’s classes were handed off to make room for Pankonen’s classes. Derek Duggan took two classes, and Jeff Hinton and Scott Meikle took the other two. All these schedule changes went into effect on October 4.

One of Henderson’s new students, Joshua Lendy, called his experience “odd.”  He said that the school’s handling of the situation was very unorganized.

“It seemed like no one really knew what we needed to do,” said Lendy. “I had heard that certain assignments needed to be transferred over, some would not be graded … we’re all over the place with our grades right now.”

Lendy said that Henderson has been very accommodating and the class’s first impressions of him are good.

Riley personally regards the situation as an “opportunity” and a challenge.

“It’s a unique circumstance,” said Riley. “But, like anything in life, you adjust to what you’re given and try to do the best you can. As teachers, we expect that of you students; often we throw things your way and expect you to adjust and roll with it. It’s no different from that.”