Teacher prepares for move to middle school

Former Guilderland High School social studies teacher Ann Marie McManus said she is still trying to find a way to teach at the high school next fall but will give her all to the students at Farnsworth Middle School.

She said she is apprehensive about the transition, which came about as the result of a culture climate inquiry conducted earlier in the year at the high school, but will do her best to change the lives of her students.

I love what I do, she said. "I am not going to not do what I am passionate about. I was not part of the discussion and the transfer. I do want to be in the high school, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to do my job."

Part of the reason for her apprehension, McManus said, are the different teaching methods at the middle school and the potential prejudice of her new colleagues over the high-profile transfer of McManus and her former social studies colleague Matt Nelligan.

McManus said many of her new colleagues do not know her or what she stands for and have only heard "snippets" about her through anecdotal stories.

"I'm apprehensive about how I'm going to be received," she said. "My name has been out there."

Superintendent John W. McGuire said he is confident that the middle school will be receptive to the personnel changes in the upcoming school year.

He said some of the staff members have already made an effort to be supportive of the teachers being transferred.

"I'm very optimistic," he said. "These are professionals."

Nelligan said he preferred not to comment at this time about his transfer.

The principal of Farnsworth Middle School Mark K. Summermatter also declined to comment.

McManus said she will be teaching eighth-grade U.S. history at the middle school, the same subject she taught in the high school, and she is comfortable with the content.

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