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"The mountains are calling, I must go"

It was Monday, April 22 when environmental science teacher Marc Pooler quieted his class down to give them news they never suspected. Students reacted with emotions of shock, disbelief, and utter sadness when they found out that Pooler would be moving away this summer.

“I was very sad, but also kind of happy because he seemed super excited about it,” senior Jacob Pike said. “I think everyone is going to miss him though, he really impacted us more than he realizes.”

Pooler plans to move to Matthews, North Carolina with his family to be closer to the mountains and have a better sense of seasons, which has always been a dream of his. There, he will continue to teach science at a local high school, but after teaching for nine years at Hagerty, he has been changed forever.

"I am so sad to see him go, but he is fulfilling his dream of becoming a mountain man. I think my favorite thing about him is that he makes it fun to learn, he really made my senior year memorable," senior Maia Kran said.
“My time at Hagerty is who I am,” Pooler said. “There is such talent, not just with the kids, but with the faculty too. People have PhDs, people have written books, and people have been in New York on stage acting. When you work around a group of people who are really good, you have to elevate yourself, find what makes you you.”

Students and faculty alike have seen Pooler as an inspirational figure and someone they are comfortable to be around.

“Aside from academics, Mr. Pooler has taught me not to just be myself and not be bothered by the small stuff,” senior Kate Medla said. “My favorite memory of [him] has to be all the times I was able to come to his classroom and just be able to talk to him about anything.”

Like Medla, other seniors such as Jimmy Munro have been able to cultivate a bond with him over common interests.

"He always makes me smile and laugh, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get him upset," senior Tyler Kielma said.

“He is a great person to talk Game of Thrones with,” Munro said. “[I will always remember] our numerous debates about conspiracy theories that he will never believe in.”

Being an environmental science teacher, Pooler showed Munro how interesting science and the natural world is, influencing his desired major, Biology.

He also had an impact on Pike’s post high school plans.

“Mr. Pooler was one of the only teachers I ever had that seriously made me consider teaching as a career path. The respect he culminates from students and faculty over the years is something I look up too,” Pike said. “I’ve learned so many life skills from Mr. Pooler, just basic things you need to know to survive after high school.”

Pooler has also made a mark on his co-workers, including the person who works next to him, history teacher Zach Capparrel.

Capparrel and Pooler have been dubbed “Best Bromance” by the students for the past two years that they have been classroom neighbors.

The duo has dressed up as elves for the Husky Pups Preschool Christmas show and Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis from “The Hangover” when presenting the Best Bromance award at the Sammy’s this year.

“I am going to miss that we won’t be able to joke around, laugh and make fun of kids, in a good way. [We love to] tease the students and have fun to show them that we are not just robot teachers,”Capparrel said.

Something Pooler and Capparrel have been able to bond over is their high energy and love for making their students smile.

“I have had sleepless nights sitting at the keyboard doing work,” Pooler said.“As soon as first period comes in and I’m in front of everybody, it is like someone just turned on the switch and I just get this instantaneous high, I love it.”

Pooler has shifted the way that many students and teachers see the classroom and that is something they will never forget.

“He makes people laugh and the kids actually enjoy his class,” Capparrel said. “It is surprising to see someone teach an AP class that kids want to take their senior year, and that they want to take it because of him, that is really remarkable.”

Senior Sami Vincent invites Pooler on stage to accept her award for "Best All Around" at the Sammy's (top left). Seniors Alexa Edney and Samantha Gilman throw it back to second grade during the ten years back dressing up day in senior week (top right). Part of the senior Powder Puff team pose with Pooler while warming up for the game. This was the only year that Pooler assisted in coaching for Powder Puff (bottom left). Senior Connor O'Malley lifts Pooler up after he presented the "Best Bromance" award at the Sammy's (bottom right).

His legacy of commitment to his students and making them enjoy learning about the environment will live on as he moves.

“Hopefully, people will remember me as being a positive guy,” Pooler said. “Everyday, you wake up and you get to chose who you want to be, and there are times where you do not want to be happy, but maybe your happiness will radiate.”

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