I Just Don’t Get it

Phil Hohensee is one of California’s “Teacher’s of the Year”.

But because of budget cuts he will probably be laid off from Cyprus High School in Cyprus, California.

The award was not a political decision but was based on his academic achievement levels.

“He’ll push you until you get it,” confirmed senior Chelsey Crofts, 18. She had him for two classes when she was a freshman and “he was my favorite teacher right off the bat. I was sure I was going to learn a lot from him.”

And al of the students do. Principal Ben Carpenter said Hohensee’s students’ standardized test scores are consistently some of the highest at the award-winning school.

“The guy is just a phenomenal teacher,” Carpenter said. “He teaches from bell to bell” and then some; Hohensee has held Saturday classes on his own time to make sure his students know the material. “And the kids love him,” Carpenter continued. “They’re in his room at lunch, they’re in there after school.”

The school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Association gave the Teacher of the Year award to Hohensee after polling students about which teachers they believed deserved the honor.

They got responses like: “He teaches us something until we can recite it in our sleep,” and “He doesn’t follow the ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy. He follows a ‘No One Fails’ policy.”

Earlier this year, the Anaheim Union High School District issued layoff notices to all teachers who have worked fewer than three years. Hohensee got swept up in the tidal wave of pink slips because he returned from his brief retirement to Cypress High School less than two years ago.

I understand the economic situation in California and I know the rules about the last hired, first let go. But come on.