Cindy Ho and Nina Nguyen, Staff Writers
As former grade 9 students, we used to be at the top of the junior high hierarchy. We used to be the “bigger kids” that other students looked up to. We were the students to set a good example and to guide our peers through a positive junior high experience. Now entering high school, we former grade 9 students are bumped back down to the bottom of a new hierarchy. Together, we slowly adapt and learn in this new environment. Grades tens share this common ground with new staff to Mac, who are also finding their place here.
As new students at this school, we thought it would be nice to get to know some of the new staff too! There were many teachers on the list but one teacher that stood out the most was (drumroll)…Mr. Ferguson! As our chaplain and a science teacher in this school, Mr. Ferguson is always getting involved with the students and other staff, whether by doing the morning announcements or challenging sports teams to a friendly game. For such a cool and outgoing teacher, a lot of students seemed not to know a lot about him, and we wanted to change that!
Q and A with Mr. Ferguson
1. What do you do at Mac?
I am the school’s chaplain and I also teach physics.
2. How do you like Mac so far?
Whenever you make a change, you’re always really nervous. You’re not sure if you made the right choice, but I did! It was 100% the right thing to do and I’m super excited to be here!
3. What other schools have you taught at?
This is my eleventh year of teaching. My very first job was at M.E LaZerte for two months, then I taught at Oscar Romero High School for two years, then for the last eight years I was at Saint Francis Xavier High School. Now, here I am! At Mac!
4. How do you like the staff at Mac?
The staff’s really cool! I knew a couple of people coming into Mac. I knew Mr. Delpercio and Mr. Stauffer from Oscar Romero. I actually came to Mac with Ms. L. Reeves, the school counselor, from St. Francis Xavier. And I taught Miss Greer; I taught her back in the day. The staff was very welcoming and they’re a fun group. I think that just like Mac kids, they’re very smart, hardworking people.
5. How did you hear about Mac?
Teaching for the last ten years, I always knew of Mac. When I heard people mention Mac, people would say “Oh, that’s the smart school”, “That’s the brain school”. Since I’ve been here, I’ve learned that there’s just so much more than that. The social justice group, the sports teams, everything’s phenomenal! I guess in my early teaching, I knew about Mac as everyone called it, the “brain school”, but now that I’m here, it’s obviously way more than just smart students.
6. Why did you choose Mac? How did you decide that this was the right decision?
Well, going back, whenever you make a change, it’s nerve-wracking! When Mr. Fiacco called, I actually thought he was going to offer me solely a physics job. I wasn’t sure if I wanted that change, but I really am excited about the chaplain position. I love the idea of getting involved with not just the classes, but the whole school community. The actual opportunity to be the school’s chaplain was what got me excited to come here.
7. Who do you most admire?
I really admire my wife. She’s very talented and very humble about how she does everything. She has all these little secret talents that you don’t know about, but they’re just there. Also my dad; he was a teacher as well and a chaplain for many years, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.
8. Why did you choose this profession, and what was your major?
My major is physics and now I’m working on my masters in theology. I came from a teaching family. I don’t know why I chose teaching, but I can tell you why I’m thankful that I did. It’s a great profession once you get married and have a family. The thing I love most about teaching is- I love teaching, but I also like the lifestyle it gives me with my family. When my kids have holidays, I have holidays as well. We get to go camping and all kinds of stuff. I think seeing both my parents grow up as teachers made me appreciate it, so I followed in their footsteps.
9. What is your favourite coming-of-age movie?
I love Billy Madison. I don’t know if this is a coming-of-age movie because he’s really immature…yup…Billy Madison.
10. What were you like in high school?
Going back to stereotypes, I was a hockey player, but that’s not what defined me. It sounds corny, but maybe I was a chameleon in high school. I played hockey, I loved hockey, but I wasn’t necessarily a hockey boy. I liked being with different groups. I didn’t hang out with one group of people all throughout high school. I kind of bounced around.
Like Mr. Ferguson says, entering a new environment is always nerve-wracking. With all the positivity from staff and students here at Mac, these past two months have been very welcoming for new members of the community Here’s to a great year for new students, staff and returning students!