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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

Saying Goodbye to the Lovely Linda Vice-Hisey – Her Legacy Lives On

“It is not my place to tell my students what to think, but it is my place to get my students to think for themselves so that they can broaden their horizons.”

~ Linda Vice-Hisey

Left: Ms. Vice-Hisey. Right: Ms. Vice-Hisey’s Halloween costume from this year—Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) just before he went for a dip in the pool. Photos courtesy of Linda Vice-Hisey.

 

Ms. Vice-Hisey is a 14-year teacher at CCHS who has worked in the Special Education department for five years and the English department for nine years. Her current position is teaching honors sophomore English and a senior English course called “Visions of the Future.”  When asked about what led her to become a teacher, Ms. Vice-Hicey recalls going through school without the benefits of Title 9 for girls and women. Title 9 is a federal civil rights law that bans gender-based discrimination in education. At the time, avenues such as becoming an engineer or architect were closed to women in the workforce. Ms. Vice-Hisey had always been a natural educator to her peers in school during a time when there were no special ed services, so teachers typically depended on her to help students with special needs. Going into college, Ms. Vice-Hisey wanted to become an English teacher. Still, she was worried about getting a job, so she went into special ed as she found it fascinating to learn about various disabilities and how to help people with them. Before coming to CCHS, she worked in Connecticut for 22 years as a special ed teacher and in Lowell for a year, where she also got her student teaching degree. Some difficulties Ms. Vice-Hisey recalls facing during her time as a teacher are the difficulties caused by the pandemic, which she says did hurt the student body a bit academically and psychologically. She also thinks that the big elephant in the room was students were on their computers and phones using social media more. She thinks that form of isolation in our community is what did the most damage, which has lasted until even now. However, technology also had a positive impact during her time as a special ed teacher. As a special educator, Ms. Vice-Hisey worked with some students with severe motor and communication difficulties. Devices like electric wheels/battery power physical lifts helped the students and staff manage physical limitations. Budding technology, such as the dynabeam and computer, also came in handy for communication for students who couldn’t speak (Ms. Vice-Hisey was one of the first teachers in the nation to use this technology). With that in mind, this new technology was also hard to navigate at the time. Ms. Vice-Hisey recalls having to teach herself how to use them and dealing with a vendor regarding technical issues because of the lack of technology experts in school in the early 1990s, but despite the difficulties, it was worth it as she was able to do what she found important: helping students with special needs. A change/improvement Ms. Vice-Hisey wants to make is to volunteer as an advocate for students with special needs and their parents to help ensure that those students can actually have a free appropriate public education because although she sees that some school districts pride themselves on the fact that they have reduced the number of outside placements for their students with special needs, she does question if there are some students who need more than what the school can provide and if the bottom line has to do with money.

Looking back on her career, Ms. Vice-Hisey is proud of a lot of things. In particular, when she was working with students with severe disabilities in Connecticut in previous years, she worked with a group of parents to create a nonprofit to provide avenues for recreation, education, employment, and independent living for people with special needs. This organization has grown in incredible ways. They even started a group home in the town she worked in, and the organization became a fertile atmosphere for many students. It has now become even greater and has led to the Prospector Theater.

More photos of Ms. Vice-Hisey’s literary-themed Halloween costumes. Left: Ms. Vice-Hisey as Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Longstocking); Middle: Ms. Vice-Hisey as Miss Havisham (Great Expectations); Right: Ms. Vice-Hisey as Curly’s Wife (Of Mice and Men). Photos courtesy of Linda Vice-Hisey.

As she continues her journey outside of the classroom, Ms. Vice-Hisey is looking forward to freedom, not having to grade any more essays, and traveling to Vietnam and New Zealand. But she claims her real plans for when she leaves CCHS are putting down a floor in her attic, cleaning up her barn, painting the ceiling of her basement, and doing archery and horseback riding lessons. From her life as a teacher, she carries with her an important lesson from her students, which is that she does not know everything. She would like for future teachers and staff members to look more at how their students can manipulate and understand the content and how educators can open the door to the mental gymnastics of that content.

Something she will miss about her current teaching position is teaching her students, working with young people, and helping them learn how to read deeply and write clearly (and quickly).

A final word of wisdom Ms. Vice-Hisey would like to leave for the community as she closes this chapter of life is, “Keep an open mind.”

Thank you, Ms. Vice, for all you have done to improve CCHS and the lives (and writing) of your students. You will be greatly missed!

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