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Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Teachers travel the distance to do what they love

Cevin Dively
Dedicated. Teachers who live far away commute for at least an hour to work each day. [Made with Canva]

Every day teachers commute to work no matter the distance. Travel time to the school looks different for everyone depending on where they’re coming from. 

English teacher and head of the Kind Program, Jamie Colman departs from her home in Cumberland, Maryland every morning bright and early. 

“I usually leave my house between 5:45 a.m. and 5:55 a.m. every morning,” Colman said. 

The drive from Cumberland, Maryland usually takes an hour. Colman makes a pitstop in Bedford most mornings to carpool with Special Education teacher Brock Seese. 

“I wake up around five and then I shower and shave and pack my lunch,” Seese said. “Mrs. Colman is usually at my house around 6:30 a.m. On the weeks that I drive, she parks her car at my house and then on the weeks that she drives, I just hop in the car with her.” 

Teachers may have to leave their houses earlier depending on the weather and the road conditions. 

“For whenever there’s bad weather, we have to leave a little bit earlier because it’s like two totally different worlds,” Seese said. “Sometimes we have bad weather down here and there’s nothing there, and vice versa.” 

Robotics teacher Franklin Harpster travels from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. 

“It clocks out at almost exactly 50 miles, so I have about an hour drive,” Harpster said. “I get up at a quarter till five, make coffee, shower, get dressed and drive straight to work.” 

Harpster enjoys the privacy factor that ensues with living farther away. 

“I like not living in the town that I teach in because I’ve done that in the past and too much of my casual time ended up running into students,” Harpster said. “I prefer the slight anonymity that comes with living in a different town.” 

Seese and Colman look forward to the interactions they have with students. 

“The interactions that I have with students and the people I work with motivates me to come to school,” Seese said. 

“My kids definitely motivate me to come to school each day,” Colman said. 

The drive home acts as a decompression after a long school day. 

“It’s usually a nice wind down time,” Colman said. “I can decompress from a long day and aside from my carpool buddy, I don’t really have to do a whole lot of talking. When I’m not carpooling, I listen to a lot of audiobooks which is a nice downtime.” 

“Lots of people say it’s crazy, but driving far to places is like second nature to me. I’ve done it my whole life.”

— Jamie Colman


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About the Contributor
Cevin Dively
Cevin Dively, Reporter
My name is Cevin Dively. I took yearbook class in eighth grade, and found it interesting, so I decided to continue on with it in the high school. I took Intro to pub, and learned a lot more, then got placed in newswriting for my sophomore year. Aside from newswriting, I'm a Lioneer and dance competitively for a new, local studio. I can't wait to begin another amazing year.  

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