A shift in psychology


After 22.5 years of teaching, Mr. Burkholder has retired to move on to the next phase of his life.

It came as a surprise to many when he announced that he would be leaving at the end of the first semester. There were whispers everywhere about what would be happening to the psychology students, especially those in the year-long AP class. After much deliberation by administration, it was finally announced that Mrs. Kent would be taking over the two AP Psychology classes and the regular Psychology class would not be offered for the second semester anymore.

As with most shifts, some students were open to the change and some had some reservations.

“I was really shocked when I first found out Mr. Burkholder was leaving because I expected him to be there the whole year,” senior AP Psych student SiSi Johnston said. “I’ve never had Mrs. Kent before so I knew it would be different but I was hopeful that it would be good.”

After actually experiencing the change and attending class with Mrs. Kent for a few days, many students were feeling better about the new arrangements.

“After the first couple days of class with Mrs. Kent I’m feeling pretty good about it,” Johnston said.

Mrs. Kent has said that she plans to maintain Mr. Burkholder’s grading policies to make the transition easier for the students. She also wants to remind the students that despite their very similar sarcastic tendencies, she is not Mr. Burkholder. While she will try to be fair to the current students by keeping the class as similar as possible, if she continues to teach AP Psychology in the future she plans to put her own spin on the class.

“It’s been a little hard to adapt because you don’t want to go in expecting her to be Mr. Burkholder but that’s difficult not to do,” senior AP Psych student Ashley Taft said.

Change rarely comes easily, especially when it means saying good-bye to someone who is well known, liked, and wonderful at their job. However, as we have had a year of many shifts, we’ve come to learn that maybe what lies ahead for us pirates can be just as great, if not better than our past. It may be saying goodbye to a legacy, but it may also be creating a new one.