Umika Sivasamy, Managing Editor

Mr. Steve Sugrue is a teacher of compassion, sincerity, and utmost integrity whose dedication to his students has pulsed across the North community for the last 13 years. Serving our school as a biology, physical science, and biophysics (when it was offered previously) teacher, he has engaged extensively with the Science Department and given support to student volunteerism through his time as an advisor to the Interact Club. As he steps away from the classroom environment and reflects on his tenure, he shares reassuring words of wisdom and encouragement, engaging with the modern-day need to strengthen the student-teacher relationship. When asked what he enjoyed most about his time at North, he shared that joining the facility was a “great move.” The shift from the elementary and middle school classroom setting he originally taught under, to a high school one, brought on the challenge of getting used to an overwhelming abundance of new content and a more mature learning grade, thus his initial reluctance. Overcoming this challenge only made him a better instructor and gave him “great experiences” from freshman teaming to engaging with the student body. He shares that what attracted him to teaching, aside from his deep love for science, was the construct of his personality. The two were conjoined together during his college years as a tutor for Project Success, an office that handled kids at the university level who faced learning difficulties. “As I was tutoring, I learned to teach, and I liked it, so I went on to check teaching out, and it just really fit my personality, leaving me blessed with this job.” On the topic of what he is most proud of accomplishing at North, he recalls the end-of-year “Educator of the Year” surveys offered to students toward the end of the year. Mr. Sugrue has won this award multiple times, attesting to his devotion as a teacher, but instead, he brings a message of valuing students noting, “It’s not that [winning awards] was my main focus but really the feedback from students that says ‘his class is challenging but he’s always there to help’ or ‘he cares about you as a learner’ that I’m proudest of.” These notations of how well-received he has been and his ability to connect still sit with many of us, students and staff, across North. Leaving the sore elephant in the room to be addressed last, he shares that his plans for retiring range from visiting places at times of the year he hasn’t been able to see to caring for his parents. “I think in the first year or two, there’s going to be a lot of travel and exploration, such as national parks, and then possibly shift back to working again.” He acknowledges a “desire to stay connected to the community doing something [he] feels positive about,” and muses on in-home projects he hopes to work on unrushed or caring for his parents as “the sort of thing [he’s] really looking toward.” Reflecting on his experiences at North, he shares an eternal gratitude for the people he has worked with. “I’ve observed and watched some really great teachers, so I’m really grateful for that.” North has stood as a pillar in his life as he provided the power of education to today’s youth, thereby instilling a better future. Anything but forgettable, Mr. Sugrue’s obvious love of life and of people paint an enduring impression of intelligence, wit, enthusiasm, and above all, fortitude in the minds of everyone he meets. As we’ll all miss the thought-provoking lectures on water’s powerful polar structure and the contagious smile that made every atmosphere more comforting, we wish Mr. Sugrue a peaceful retirement.