Most students come to school every morning and forget about their lives at home. However, there are few students who have to deal with their parents at Leesville as well as at home.
During his time at Leesville, Mr. David Albert has worked with hundreds of students whom he thinks of as an extended family. However, one of Albert’s senior students, Taylor Whitley, is more than that: Whitley is Mr. Albert’s biological son.
Whitley, a member of the Symphonic Band, has been working under the direction of his father since his freshmen year.
“At first, it was kind of weird, being taught by my dad and all,” said Whitley. “But after a while, you just get used to it.”
Albert also grew up with a parent for a teacher. His mother was in charge of the library at his high school, and because of that, he can better understand what his own son is going through.
“I respected her position as a teacher, and I respected her as a mother. Because of what I went through, I can see how Taylor might view me at school and at home.”
Taylor feels that there is a definite distinction in his father’s behavior. “Most of the time he treats me the same way as the rest of the class, but there are definitely times when he acts meaner towards me. Sometimes, I think he gives me zeros just because I’m his son.”
Albert was quick to answer his son’s remarks. “I would not be surprised to see that he thinks I do, but as far as teaching goes, he gets the same me that everyone else does, no more, no less,” said Albert.
Having his father at school, Whitley cannot act the same way that he does around his peers. He talked about watching his behavior and acting more responsibly because his dad works at Leesville.
“I’m definitely more under guard because he’s here. I have to be more careful and make sure that I don’t do anything I’ll regret,” said Whitley.
Albert also acknowledges the changes in his son’s behavior. “He minds his manners better at school. For sure.”
Whitley may act differently around his father at school, but Albert appreciates the special connection they share. “The activities of the band have made our schedules the same so I’m certain Taylor and I have spent more time together than most dads and their sons.”
Mrs. Lori Nowicki, a science teacher at LRHS, also feels that she has become closer to her daughter, Allison, because of the time they’ve shared together at school over the years.
“Since 2003, Allison and her older sister Jessica would accompany me on the the three minute commute to LRHS each morning,” said Mrs. Nowicki. “We spend a lot of time together.”
Allison, a freshman, says the same, but is glad she doesn’t have to spend any extra time with her mom. “She’s not that bad, but I’m glad I don’t have her class. She can be embarrassing sometimes, and I’m sure she’d tell a story or two that I’d get laughed at for.”
Mrs. Nowicki doesn’t deny it. “I am sure she enjoys her time at school without having to see me during the day,” she said. “After all, she has already heard all of my lame jokes about rocks.”
While she may not want to be in her mother’s class, the younger Nowicki enjoys knowing she is at school too. “It’s kind of cool if I have friends in her classes because once in a while, she’ll tell me things they do or say.”
Allison may not be used to going to school with her mom yet, but in time, she too will accept having a parent teach at Leesville.