Sponsor of the 2014 class, and the Asian-American Student Association, a Math 8 and algebra teacher, Mark Purdy has a lot on his plate. Being class sponsor involves heading fundraisers, pep rallies, school dances, attending meetings, emailing or making phone calls, as well as dedication and patience to finish the job.
“It takes up a lot of tiring days,” said Purdy yawning a few seconds after. “But I’ll tell you, at the end of the day it’s all worth it.”
Purdy has been a teacher at LB for 14 years and has been a sponsor for 12 years. He first began sponsoring the 2006 class when they were freshman. Later on he sponsored the 2010 class, and now he states that he is finally finishing his years of sponsoring with the 2014 class.
“Sadly, these are my final four years of sponsoring. This is it for me, it’s time I give the crown to someone else to sponsor the future classes,” said Purdy. “Twelve years of sponsoring is enough, I will obviously continue to give support and consider myself to be a ‘go-to guy’ or assistant.”
Throughout the four years of sponsoring, fundraisers are held to raise money for the graduating class prom, graduation and senior gifts. The 2014 class holds fundraisers weekly by selling Krispy Kreme donuts, T-shirts, bracelets, holding car washes, and recently hosting restaurants deals in places like Glory Days or Quiznos.
“My goal is to raise enough money for prom for the 2014 class,” Purdy said. “I want everyone to enjoy it and have a great and fantastic time. I want the night to be memorable and enjoyable.”
Every day, Purdy enters the school with a positive attitude to teach his students. The day isn’t over for Purdy once the last period bell rings, because some days he has meetings with the 2014 officers, stays after school for students or holds meetings for the Asian-American Association.
“Some of my former students came up to me one day saying they didn’t have a sponsor to represent their club, so they talked me into it. Obviously I am not Asian whatsoever,” Purdy said, chuckling at the thought. “Everyone should join…..You seriously don’t need to be Asian.”
Purdy has been a middle school teacher for as long as he remembers, yet he continues to always stay connected with high school students.
“Nothing feels better than feeling a connection with a student,” Purdy said. “When students trust me and feel comfortable to tell me they don’t understand the math, I’m all ears and I’m glad to help.”
Once a middle school student graduates and moves on to high school, they should continue staying in close connection with their middle school teachers and their middle school classmates as much as they can, Purdy said.
“I love interacting and socializing with the students I’ve taught over the years, it’s a good feeling watching them grow into young men and women,” Purdy said. “I think of LB as one big family and we all in this together as one.”
Being a sponsor for the past 12 years has made a huge effect in Purdy’s life. He has watched students grows each year and visit him from time to time to complain about hard teacher or hard classes.
“It would take me all day to explain all the best memories we created as a family,” Purdy said. “We had such a blast over the years and I’m really going to miss everyone and might get a little emotional during graduation like I do every year.”
On June 21st 2014, when the class of 2014 graduates, it will be the last year of being class sponsor for Purdy.
“I know for a fact I’m going to cry. My emotions take over and go everywhere,” Purdy said. “Some of these students I’ve known for 5 years now and it’s crazy to think I might not ever see them again.
The class of 2014 will take with them the math Purdy taught them, the complains they tell to Purdy about having stressful classes, the enjoyment they had during prom, pep rallies, homecoming, having the hyped squad pumped during football games, and for most, it might be the last time they see LB and Mark Purdy.
“Once the last person steps off the stage, I know they all have become young men and women and it’s so overwhelming,” Purdy said. “But don’t get me wrong, it’s also a happy feeling. I’m just glad to be doing what I love most, being a teacher at LB.”