In the wake of Mr. Petrucci’s well-deserved Golden Apple Award from this past month, the Spectrum is remembering Mr. Kenney’s Golden Apple from last May.
It was an average Friday morning before NBC 10 broke down the door.
“Hi, I’m Patrice Wood,” the locally famed anchor exclaimed as she led an army of cameras into Mr. Kenney’s room. For years, room 130 had been a source of cult following for hundreds of students. From the quotes on the ceiling to the legendary phrase, “All Rivers Are the Same River,” Mr. Kenney’s tenure in the EGHS Humanities corridor has been nothing short of memorable.
Josh Petteruti, one of his students at the time, saw NBC 10 advertise their Golden Apple segment one weeknight on the news, and immediately knew nominating Mr. Kenney was a must.
“It’s kind of funny,” said Petteruti, “Because I nominated him all the way back in January. Then My mom got a phone call from Mr. Podraza 4 months later, and she told me I had to wear something nice to school, but she wasn’t allowed to tell me why. So at the beginning of English, I was walking back from the bathroom when Podraza stops me outside the door, and says ‘Mr. Petteruti– uh, do you guys have any upcoming Model UN conferences?’ I replied ‘No,’ and I was a bit flustered because I thought that was what I needed to dress up for (I had been hoping something much cooler than a question about Model UN was going to happen). Only later did I figure out that Mr. Podraza had come to the room just to make sure I was present, and when he awkwardly bumped into me in the hallway, he had to come up with something on the spot to filibuster.”
In his nomination, Petteruti stated that “Mr. Kenney exemplifies all traits of a Golden Apple Award Recipient: passion, intelligence, personality, devotion, focus, empathy […] and in a school of incredible educators, the fact that he still stands out to everyone is a statement in it of itself. He is constantly implementing new styles and approaches to teaching, pushing the boundaries of the status quo. Whether it be a poem, a Socratic seminar, or the rare chance to paint a picture of one of our fondest memories- we are never short an assignment. Mr. Kenney is the type of teacher, leader, and friend we could all use in our lives, teaching far more than just high school.”
The Kenney family didn’t disappoint, showing up in full force to support their husband, father, and son. When Mr. Kenney saw that his parents had come all the way up from Florida for the surprise, he was speechless. “I’m humbled, truly I am,” he said as he thanked the administration and the English department.
In addition to his mastery of the classroom, Mr. Kenney has also made an incredible impact as director of the drama program– something that Petteruti stressed in his nomination. Patrice Wood was anxious to see the performer in action, so Mr. Kenney picked up right where he left off in Romeo and Juliet, giving the news crew a small glimpse into the everyday of room 130.
The entire class beamed as they watched the local news serenade their teacher. He was presented with the award (a literal Golden Apple) as well as a grant to be used in the classroom. Now 6 months later, a new chapter is opening up in Mr. Kenney’s life: his pursuit of a PhD. The Spectrum wishes him the best!
A link to the news segment can be found below: