Homecoming dance to support high school teacher battling cancer


Courtesy of Amanda Rodrigues

Party planners — (left to right) Student Activities Director Chris Loomis and seniors Executive Secretary Caroline Leary, Executive President Sophie Giuffria, Executive Vice President Internal Sarah Hennig, Executive Treasurer Shrey Sharma, and Executive Vice President External Amanda Rodgrigues meet to discuss the Executive Council’s future plans. The group has planned this year’s homecoming dance, which will take place on Saturday, October 26.

Sydney Bigelow, Copy and Design Chief

As basketball coach and physical education teacher Duane Witter battles cancer, the students and faculty of the high school plan to host a homecoming dance to acknowledge his fight. Homecoming will occur Saturday, October 26, and the proceeds from the event will benefit Witter. 

Witter is currently a physical education and health teacher at the high school. He is also the head coach for the boys basketball varsity team and helped to make history and bring home the state championship in the 2018-2019 season. This spring, he was diagnosed with leukemia and is in the process of completing a series of chemotherapy treatment sessions. Ever since, the community has looked at ways to support Witter as he is a well-respected member of the Farmington community. 

“[Witter] really takes the time when you’re talking to him to listen and give his best advice. He is very, very, very thoughtful,” health and wellness teacher Chris Machol said.  

The theme for this year’s homecoming was planned by seniors Executive President Sophie Giuffria, Executive Vice President Internal Sarah Hennig, Executive Vice President External Amanda Rodrigues, Executive Treasurer Shrey Sharma, and Secretary Caroline Leary. The Executive Council members met in early September to discuss their plans for the upcoming fall, including the annual homecoming event. 

“Executive Council is trying to make homecoming as special as it can be because it’s for Coach Witter, an integral member of our FHS community. The decorations will reflect some of Witter’s slogans such as ‘Believe’ and ‘Culture Matters.’ The number 6 is also significant to Witter and the boys basketball team so that will also be a part of the theme,” Giuffria said. 

The Executive Council is communicating with Witter to determine how he would like the funds to be donated, whether it be for assistance with his treatments or to a cancer-related charity. Either way, the money and spirit of Homecoming will bring support to Witter and his family.

Homecoming will take place on Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m., following a 2 p.m. football game. There will be a pep rally on Friday, October 25. Tickets will be sold in the upcoming week and will be $10 for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, and $6 for seniors.