The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Kevin McDonaugh takes on new position in the English department

Kevin+McDonaugh+takes+on+new+position+in+the+English+department
Samira Li
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Since the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Townsend Harris has undergone a number of changes to its staff and faculty, including both the arrival of entirely new teachers and the allocation of new responsibilities to current teachers. Among these transitions involved teacher Kevin McDonaugh, who was previously an Instructional Support Services (ISS) teacher with a concentration in English at THHS. This year, he moved out of ISS and became a full-time member of the English department.

Mr. McDonaugh first considered teaching when his eighth grade social studies teacher told him that he was suited for the job. He said, “I was impressionable, and I was subconsciously searching for someone to see something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. When he saw this potential in me, I jumped at it and decided that I would become a teacher.”

He didn’t have an inclination toward any particular subject until college when he was introduced to the Beats and Charles Bukowski’s literary works. “He wrote in a way I didn’t know was possible to write. His writing really resonated with me. I suddenly realized I wanted to be an English major,” said Mr. McDonaugh.

As a special education teacher, Mr. McDonaugh wrote the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for his students and ensured that it was implemented in a way that best suits them. An IEP is a legal document that helps teachers provide the support their students may need and the services they are legally entitled to receive.

As an English teacher, Mr. McDonaugh is primarily in charge of the curriculum and planning for general education English courses at THHS. He is taking on this role after Raquel Chung retired from the school last year, leaving an open spot in the English department.

Alongside literature, Mr. McDonaugh developed a passion for psychology. He said, “The ability to share certain aspects of psychology that I found useful and utilize it by connecting it to literature helps make the literature more meaningful. My job allows me to share my philosophy and this passion with students, and hopefully I am able to touch their lives a little bit [and] maybe show them that life goes beyond ‘school, graduate, job, money.’”

Mr. McDonaugh has also been the advisor of a multitude of clubs, one of which is Model UN.

“Mr. McDonaugh has always been very attentive,” said senior Hellen Oliveira, President of Model UN. “Whether it came down to chaperoning or requesting checks or being the voice of reason when we ran into conflicts, he never hesitated to volunteer himself for the success of the club.”

After starting his own English course last year, Mr. McDonaugh shared that one of the reasons why he switched to an English department position was that he “realized that life is only as meaningful as the amount of hard work you are willing to put into it.” He said that he wanted to grow as a person and as a teacher, and that he believes the only way to do that is to try new things.

“I found in the last five years or so [that] when there is a challenge or an opportunity to do something you haven’t done before, [you should] take it on, even if it is daunting,” said Mr. McDonaugh.

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About the Contributors
Defne Kaygisiz
Defne Kaygisiz, News Copy Editor
Defne is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She likes reading depressing books, watching gloomy movies, and listening to music. Her favorite artist is currently Patti Smith and her favorite movie is Submarine. She has a tea addiction and likes cats.
Katherine Lian
Katherine Lian, Multimedia Chief
Katherine Lian is a senior at Townsend High School who enjoys taking pictures, dancing, and trying new things. Her favorite memory with The Classic was her trip to Albany with her peers.
Samira Li
Samira Li, Photography Editor
Samira is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys photography and art, especially digital art, and she loves playing sports, such as table tennis, tennis, handball, etc. She’s also been on the robotics team her entire time in high school and is incredibly passionate for it.
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