Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

Hopkinton High School's Student News Site

HHS Press

    There and Back Again: Student Turned Teacher

    Seth Durand
    Caught In Action — Mr. Prescott is sitting at his desk as he watches over his flex block group. When coming in to interview him, he was in a lighthearted debate with two other students about a math equation. “And the world is big and bright, so I might not go and look at it, but I happen to stay here.”

    Having a generations-long family history in Hopkinton has provided Mr. Prescott with strong ties to the town, but there is more than just his family that keeps him at the high school.

    When it comes to family reunions, location is a minimal worry for the Prescotts. For them, they are able to go from a grandparent’s house to a cousin’s in under twenty minutes. It is not uncommon to have a teacher who used to be a student at HHS. There are fewer, however, who have such a history with the town as Mr. Prescott does.

    He estimated that his family has been a part of town for a hundred years. “From what I know, my great grandfather owned property where Eastview is currently located,” he said. “My mother’s father was the captain of the 1954 football team.”

    “I have five cousins that live in town of the twelve on my mom’s side, and my parents still live here. My wife is from Hopkinton. I graduated with her, and her family still lives here. Her sister lives here. Their kids are in town. So yeah, I still have many family ties to the job.”

    Just the same, it wasn’t always his plan to return to Hopkinton, or to become a teacher at all.

    “I left Hopkinton as a senior hoping to become a civil engineer, and I never anticipated teaching,” he explained. “I went to college, studied math and science for three years, and then I went abroad to Italy my junior year, and I was there for five months.”

    That trip to Italy is what started to turn him towards the world of social studies. “I took Renaissance history classes. I did some more social studies classes, and I really came back from that experience thinking, this is something I’d rather do.”

    Looking back, he recognized that part of his revelation was about how his fellow peers excelled versus himself.

    “I felt like those students that I was taking my classes with, they could access the material with ease. They could do three-dimensional vector calculus in their head, whereas I could barely do it with the computer,” he explained.

    “Yet those students really struggled when we were writing lab reports or we had to give presentations. I was often the person who would do that. That should have cued me into the strengths that I had, which was more about reading, writing, and speaking.”

    Mr. Prescott went on to take summer courses in order to finish his degree more or less on time. Afterwards, he went into his master’s program at UMass Amherst, where he had his first taste of teaching.

    “I taught in Springfield, Massachusetts as a student teacher when I was a fifth year senior at UMass. While I was teaching in Springfield, it was a very different environment, and I was doing the student teaching there, so it wasn’t a permanent job.”

    “I enjoyed it,” he said. “I thought it was a really good experience for me growing up in Hopkinton to teach in an inner-city urban environment, but then when the time came to find a more permanent job, I broadened my search.”

    Mr. Prescott returned to the MetroWest area and applied to several towns who had job postings. Despite Hopkinton not having a posting, he visited their office anyway, as he knew one of the secretaries.

    “It wasn’t necessarily that I was planning on coming here,” he said. “It was just when the time came to broaden the horizon of the job, I was like, ‘I might as well try Hopkinton.’”

    The school contacted him only a day after with a job opening. After two interviews over the span of two weeks, Mr. Prescott was given the job.

    His former teacher, Mr. Simoes, was not shocked by his student’s return to the high school.

    “I never know where their college careers are going to take them,” he said, “but he certainly was someone who loved the school community, loved his town, his deep roots in the town with his family. And so among the many students I’ve had who are teachers now, he’s certainly one that doesn’t surprise me at all.”

    Mr. Simoes holds Mr. Prescott in high regard as he does with many of his former students.

    “They’re not just teachers, they’re really, really invested in the community outside the classroom. Mr. Prescott specifically does virtually everything in the school. He’s invaluable to the school community.”

    In Between Worlds — Ms. Karner is sitting at her desk in the study room. She is about to head off to her English class as she balances her different responsibilities. “Hopkinton is a really special place and that we’re lucky to be a part of it.” (Seth Durand)

    According to Mr. Simoes, Mr. Prescott still has the same enthusiasm he did as a student. Ms. Karner, current teacher and former peer of Prescott’s, agrees.

    “His energy levels are incredibly impressive. He has more energy than anyone I know in the best way possible,” she said. “I am blown away every time I see Mr. Prescott by how much energy he brings to the table. If I’m feeling tired, I just have to walk by and take care of his energy.”

    Mr. Prescott currently lives in South Boston, but he is planning to move into Hopkinton with his wife and son, which means that his son may graduate from the same high school as him.

    “My wife had always said she refused to move to the town where I taught,” he said. “And I understood that, you know, because that can be kind of awkward if your parent is the, you know, teacher and all that.”

    “He’s only a baby, so that’s a long way off,” he added. “Will I still be a teacher here? Who knows?”

    “But he will be enrolled in this school system for as long as we live here. If I’m teaching here, then I’m teaching here. So be it.”

    He recognizes that the school — and Hopkinton as a whole — has changed since he last lived here.

    “I think what’s interesting now is Hopkinton is undergoing new changes again as the town continues to grow,” he said. “We’re now bursting at the seams with students. We have more students than this building was ever designed to accommodate.”

    “To me, that’s what’s so interesting is I think right before the pandemic, the school was basically right at what it was designed for in terms of the number of students and it really did feel like this is the perfect place,” he added. “You can’t have a better learning environment than this building.”

    “Now after the pandemic as the town has continued to grow and we’re now exceeding the capacity of the building, I think you’re seeing some of that, the growing pains of just a lot of people and there’s not a lot of space.”

    Despite that, he believes that the high school is beginning to resemble what it used to be back when he was a student.

    “I still think everyone here is getting a good quality education, but it might be a little bit trickier than it was five years ago. But maybe a little bit more like it was when I was a student, you know. Just slightly different.”

    According to Mr. Prescott, not only does his job provide him the opportunity to teach, but also gives him several creative and athletic outlets that he appreciates.

    “This is a place where once you’re here you can firmly entrench yourself in a career,” he said.

    Devoted to his school and students, Mr. Prescott has no plans of leaving Hopkinton unless he retires from teaching completely. He and his endless enthusiasm for teaching will continue to take a presence in Hopkinton for many years to come.

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