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The Tide Online » 15 Minutes of Fame, Featured » A Spotlight on Mr. Allen

A Spotlight on Mr. Allen

Mr. Allen and his puzzles, photo courtesy of Aidan Mattingly

By Aidan Mattingly

There are really two kinds of substitute teachers at Dover High. There’s the good-hearted but often naïve, just-out-of-college type who are getting experience for when they get hired full-time. Then there’s the subs who have taught for years, many of whom are former teachers, who even after they have stopped working full time continue to return and interact with students. One of the subs in this latter group is Mr. Allen.

Over time, a lot of subs can start to blend together to students. Mr. Allen, though, isn’t one. “He’s really funny”, said Angelina Johnson, “he can be pretty helpful”. Mr. Allen’s been subbing at DHS for seven years now, after having spent a total of 35 years as a full-time teacher. It’s clear that he loves working here. “I would not change any of my years at Dover High”, he said, “I’ve never given any thought to ‘I wish I’d done something different.’”

Before becoming a sub, Mr. Allen taught at Dover full-time for seventeen years, and before that at Somersworth Middle School for eighteen. He taught math up through Algebra II, initially teaching freshmen. He always felt that academics were only part of his role, and his students agreed with him. “The greatest compliment I ever got was at the end of the year when three students came to me and said, ‘We want to thank you for all the math you taught us, but more important we want to thank you for teaching us so much about life’”, he reminisced.

While Mr. Allen enjoys teaching, he also has multiple hobbies outside of school. He is an avid reader, enjoying the works of horror novelist Stephen King and historical fiction writer Kenneth Roberts. He also enjoys puzzles, often in the Teacher’s Room. In addition, he frequently gardens, and in the past has maintained a vegetable stand in the summer. This summer, however, he intends to travel, anticipating a trip to Canada.

Mr. Allen remains dedicated to the Dover High students with whom he loves working. “I enjoy the interaction with the students. I really feel that Dover High students are special”, he mused. Dover High students often return the sentiment. “There’s no one in the school who will teach you about life like he will”, Reuben Delano Pandeirot reflected.

And Mr. Allen is confident in the future of DHS students- “Many people complain about our youth of today. Yes, we have problems, but I hold the students at Dover in very high regard.”

 

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