Mulcahy fittingly named 2020 graduation speaker

MJ Martinez

Some of you know Mr. Mulcahy as “the club guy”…maybe “Buddy the Elf”….or “the guy who always needs to win.” But I have come to know Mr. Mulcahy as not only a co-adviser and co-teacher, but as a confidant and good friend.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mulcahy (to many of our shared students, he is affectionately known as “Dad”) for two years now in American Studies, a course we joined minds and hearts in creating. The love that we have for this class, however, doesn’t come from a sense of ownership, but rather from the home we create with our students in our classroom. The excitement in our room is unreal. And he is just as excited to engage with students as he is with his colleagues. No one takes the annual Halloween Costume Contest more seriously than he does or the annual “Get to Know You” BINGO that the faculty hosts. Last year, we actually had to ban him from winning. 

Thus, it makes sense that Mr. Mulcahy would be asked to bring some light to the Class of 2020 during such uncertain times where we see so much unrest in our country and the world. He is, without question, our human mascot. While I began this piece writing that Mr. Mulcahy is my friend, in reality, he is a friend to all. 

In the time we have been teaching together, he has apologized for running late (he wasn’t actually late at all) for helping someone with a flat tire, racing to class because he took a moment to console someone in need, or unable to chat in the morning as he was helping with his 100th fundraiser of the year (sometimes I don’t know if that number is an exaggeration). We have eaten lunch together with countless students during free periods, with Mr. Mulcahy ready to pull out a chair. And as his co-teacher, he always somehow knew when he had to carry just a little more that day because we can’t always do it all on our own. 

At the end of the day, Mr. Mulcahy is a champion for students. Whether it be in his role as the SpiriThon adviser or the hours he spends with students after school for Student Council, or CT Youth Forum (I am forgetting a few hundred other clubs here), he works for them and with them. He hangs the most streamers when we decorate hallways and takes center stage during the third “Happy BIRTHday” every time we sing it. With only five years under his belt but already in a leadership program, I often wonder where his talents in singing, costuming, and yes, teaching, will take him.

 He not only brings out the best in his students but also his colleagues. I know that I have become a happier teacher because he gave me space to be myself and not only accepted that but celebrated it too. 

Across both classes we have taught, the students and I have learned to be confident in ourselves as he unapologetically showed up as himself every day. And, as our American Studies students and I would say:

 “We LOVE that.”