“I Don’t Have Handcuffs Under My Cardigan”

 

 

Welcome Mr. Savoie, American’s newest 10th grade English teacher

Sanika Gavankar

Senior Staff Writer

    Meet Mr. William Savoie, a lover of books, board games, and horror movies. His main goal is to contribute towards making American High School a better learning environment for students.

    “I’m not here for me or the principal; I’m here for the students,” he said.

   Born and raised in Michigan, Mr. Savoie did not decide to teach at first. Savoie graduated from college with an undergraduate degree in English and then started to volunteer at his old school.

    “I would sub for some classes,” he explained. “I would help out with retreats, and I had so much fun. Immediately after that year, I was like, ‘I gotta figure out a way to get into teaching.’”

    As he worked to get his Master’s degree at DePaul University, Savoie was a teacher’s assistant at Hubbard High School for an English class, which turned into a teaching job for a year. He enjoyed working with the students and realized that this was the job for him.

    “[It was like I was] hanging out with teenagers,” he said. “It was fun. I figured it can’t be too bad for a job.”

    His journey as a teacher did not stop there. Soon enough, he came to California and started applying to many teaching jobs in the Bay Area.

    “My wife was accepted in a graduate program in Palo Alto,” he explained. “When she got accepted, I was immediately jumping online and looking at different schools and school districts. Mr. Musto called me back and said he wanted to interview me.”

    Although he looked at many schools in the Bay Area, he loved American High School the most. Coming from Chicago, a city with a cramped living style, seeing how open and beautiful the campus was was a positive change in atmosphere and community. At a glance, he knew he wanted to come to American. What popped out the most was the name. He never saw a school called American High School.

    “I went online and looked at different areas where parents commented their experience at the school and students’ commented [theirs as well].” he said. “Everyone had wonderful things to say. I think any teacher would want to be a part of that.”

    Aside from being an English teacher, Mr. Savoie enjoys his free time. Of course, one of his favorite interests is to read. He loves fantasy and science-fiction novels, especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and Gene Wolfe.

   “[I love series] that are 7 books long and 700 pages a piece. Knights and magic. I love it!” he exclaims.

    When he is not working or reading, Savoie enjoys to cook. He enjoys watching cooking videos on Instagram and Facebook, trying them out, and adding his own flare.

    “I like cooking better than baking,” he mentioned. “You [can] mess up in cooking and it still turns out okay.”

    Savoie also loves horror movies, his favorite being The Thing by John Carpenter. It is about an alien-like amoeba that goes around to different galaxies,killing each off. It can shape shift into the exact creature it kills. Savoie loves how the movie builds an atmosphere of intense mistrust and uncertainty of who is human and who is not.

    “I love horror movies.” he says, “The worse they are the better.”

    Savoie is a huge advocate of reading what you like to read. He tries to incorporate that into his independent reading projects; he does not stop a student from reading what he/she likes to read. Reading what is considered “trash” to the English world, such as Manga or comic books, is perfectly fine. They are still books because they tells stories and lets you step into the author’s shoes.

    “When you shut things out, you don’t just shut out the coloring part of it.” he explains, “You shut out the idea of it.”

    Mr. Savoie hopes to make American High School a better learning environment during his time here. He wants to make sure his students get the best out of their education and makes sure the learning atmosphere is heavily influenced by the students he is teaching. He is very excited to teach at American and hopes to stay here for a long time.

    “I make sure to tell students that if they have a problem with what I say or do,” he informs, “be open about it and talk to me about it. I am not a monster or a cool; I don’t have handcuffs under my cardigan.”

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