by Anura Guruge
However, what really impressed me was a table in the cafeteria with projects done by Richard Macduff’s grades 6, 7 & 8 ‘Tech Ed’ classes. I recognized two projects — the sail-car with the CD wheels and the windmill that can light a bulb — since Devanee had brought hers home over the last few days. But, I had never met Mr. Macduff prior to last night. I confess I didn’t even know he existed. But, I am glad I met him and had a chance to have a very productive conversation with him.
He, in my books, is a hero. He is so enthusiastic, committed and has the goods to show it. These creations that he gets the kids to build are sheer genii. Wow. The levitating train, using opposing magnets, was so cool. Yes, I have seen such stuff before, but this was built by an 8th grader.
I was really happy to see talent like that at ACS.
I asked him, point blank, given my push to get ACS teachers to coach Destination Imagination (DI), as to why he doesn’t coach DI because he would be excellent given his skills and passion. Appears that he did do some ‘Lego League’ coaching — BUT he is a 25-hours/week part-timer! If he gets too close to 30 hours/week ACS runs into the N.H. State statues about providing him with a pension. So he has to watch his hours — even when it comes to after school activities — because they carry a stipend. I was shocked. WOW.
This guy is good. He should be allowed to work as many hours as he can! To have his talents curtailed because of budget concerns seem crazy. I just read that the school received some unexpected largess in terms of grants. Well, if I had my way, I would use some of that money to give this guy some extra hours given the work he does.
But, he seems happy. The kids seem to like what they can do in his classes. So, a good situation.
Richard Macduff projects.
Click to ENLARGE.
Levitating train is within the metal tracks.
That is Mr. Macduff, at the back, talking, in the 2nd picture.