Many students at DHS enjoy having a particular group of friends who they spend time with and hang out regularly. The same thing can be said about some teachers at DHS, who as many students, have lunch together every day and see each other on the weekends as well. While there is nothing unusual about teachers being friends, it’s been noted by some of the students that the different “cliques” are determined by the specific department that the teachers work at.
The most prominent example of this at DHS are the teachers of the current math department. Several students have noticed that teachers from this department are all really good friends who enjoy spending time together beyond school-related activities. One of Sean Murray’s math students, junior Ashley Elfawal, has seen this happening when going to office hours.
“When I go into the math office to get help from Mr. Murray he’s always gathered around the table with Mr. Salgat, Mr. Mohr and other teachers,” Elfawal said. “They’re always talking, drawing math problems, planning their lessons and making random TV show references. They all have like the same shows that they watch and stuff that they’re into. I think that the math department is definitely closer than the other departments.”
Sophomore Brandon Fisher agrees that teachers within the same department have more tendencies to form friendships within the group than with teachers outside of the department.
“I think generally there’s camaraderie within departments,” Fisher said. “I’ve seen the English teachers hanging out together, the Science teachers hanging out together and so on. With the math department, I think they just have the same interests and appreciate each other’s passion for problem solving.”
Many of the math teachers consider themselves to be close friends, but there is more than a shared subject that brings them together.
“A lot of us came in at the same time together,” Murray said. “We’re all good friends mostly because of similar interests, ages and families. We go out to breakfast and dinner sometimes, or if someone is building a shed in their backyard or needs something moved we go in and help.”
One of DHS’ other math teachers, Eric Mohr, also agrees with this, saying that they’re all pretty good friends with similar backgrounds.
“We obviously have a love for the same subject, so we’ve got a lot in common,” Mohr said. “For the math department we’re all relatively similar in age and a lot of us got kids that are in the same grade. So there’s just a lot of connections there that relate to each other.”
There are also some trends and traditions that make the math department unique and sets them apart from the other departments. One of the traditions, wearing red t-shirts on Wednesdays, is one of the most noted ones that give the teachers a sense of community and unity.
“The red t-shirt Wednesday tradition started when there were a lot of contractual concerns that were trying to get worked out, like contract negotiations,” Mohr said. “It was sort of a symbol of unity within the members of the teaching staff, but more of a city wide thing. Then the math department just continued the trend.”
All of these shared interests and quirks make it possible for the math department and other departments to be as united as they are now. The teachers at DHS are all great examples of long-lasting friendships that were formed during school hours, but are still present outside of school and will continue to do so for a long time.