In recent months, Orcas Island High School has been saddened with the news that teacher Michael Buckner, who has played a significant role in student events and student life, will no longer be teaching at OHS next year. Nearly every student at OHS knows Buckner in some way. Whether it is through math classes, leadership opportunities, or general interactions, students have been influenced by Buckner’s contributions to the atmosphere of the high school.
Buckner plans to move to Southeast Portland over the summer. There he will continue to pursue teaching in a traditional classroom or in another form. “I plan to continue to help prepare youth to be successful as independent adults,” said Buckner. “I will most certainly continue to do this in a teaching capacity, but it may not be in a traditional school setting.” According to Buckner, his plans are open to change. “I’m open to opportunities,” he said.
In the meantime, he plans to sign up to be a substitute teacher in the Portland school district, potentially working full time in this occupation due to a shortage of subs in the area.
Although Buckner’s decision to move is final, he will miss teaching at OHS. In his time on Orcas Island, he has enjoyed the benefits of teaching in a small school. “What I have enjoyed most about teaching on Orcas Island has been the opportunity to get to know nearly every student in our school. Being part of a small school allows each teacher to have an impact on the majority of the students.” His best memories are of the moments of realization when something “clicks” in students’ minds and they finally understand a topic. He will miss the small school atmosphere, along with the class performances and competitions during homecoming week. “Most of all, I will miss The Viking Voice.”
After having such an impact on the high school, Buckner’s absence will surely be felt by all. Like the rest of the teachers at OHS, he has worked hard for the students and has helped create the welcoming, enjoyable atmosphere that is a part of our school. His contribution will not be forgotten, and although the students wish him luck in Oregon, he will be missed.