Fairmont remembers Vesely

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Photo: Alexis Massey

Students working hard to complete work in their Latin II class.

Fairmont has over hundreds of teachers. All of them have one goal, to teach students to the best ability they can. Some do that and only that. But others leave a special impact on their students.

Midway through September, in the first semester of the 2015-16 school year, word broke that one of Fairmont’s Latin teachers, Dave Vesely, had resigned. Tyler Alexander, head principal at Fairmont, says there are different ways to resign but you are bound by contract to stay until every year is up. If not, you would be breaking school contract which could result in losing your teaching license.

“In this case of Mr. Vesely, that’s not what happened. He has not gone this route. I can’t tell you much about his exact situation, but I can tell you that he has not broken the contract,” Alexander said. 

Vesely taught Latin for 25 years. Not everyone takes Latin, but the majority recognize him in the halls and know who he is.

“I may not have had Mr.Vesely but that doesn’t change the fact of what I hear. This is my first year here at Fairmont and from this short amount of time, I can tell Mr.Vesely was a special leader,” Fairmont junior Amelia Rude said.

Many say he had a special way of indoctrinating his classes.

“With Mr. Vesely he made you think and see things in a different way. Usually through sarcastic comments or jokes but that’s often the best way to get through to people,” said Bret Sagasser, a senior at who has been in Latin for four years with Vesely. “He’s the only teacher I’ve ever had who is completely honest 100% of the time and will always tell you exactly what he thinks about something.” 

Even though his time at Fairmont is over, students will be forever thankful for all that he did as a teacher.

“When I had him in class he was super laid back and chill. We learned what we needed to learned but it helped that we were more relaxed. It wasn’t so stressful,” said Halli Reed, Fairmont sophomore who had Vesely for just his short time here this year. “I can say every person in my class, every single person, misses him very much.”

Senior Jacob Montgomery was truly impacted by Vesely, both in the classroom and out.

Mr. Vesely left a permanent impact on me due to all of the world insights he gave all of his students. He taught me not only a great deal about the Latin language which I’ll never forget,” Montgomery said, “but also much about how the world around me works, and how my years to come may unfold. I’ll always be grateful for that and I’ll never forget him.” 

At least two years of a language is strongly encouraged for all Fairmont students who plan to attend college. Many students who fail other languages get transferred to Latin because it’s said to be the “easiest” language.

This made his job a lot harder trying to encourage the lower Latin students to actually work while also working with the high level Latin classes of AP and IB students,” Sagasser said.

Many students here at Fairmont wish Vesely the best of luck and support his decision to leave.

“I know that he had to do what was best for him and his family, and more than anything I respect that. It takes a lot to have the longest tenure at Fairmont,” said Montgomery, “but even more to have the courage to leave because it’s what’s best for you. So I’ll miss him greatly, but I know he’s where he needs to be.” 

With Vesely resigning, many were left pondering what would happen to the classes he instructed.

“I was disappointed. I think Mr.Vesely did a really great job for us. I’m disappointed he’s not going to be here. But things happen and we have to adjust,” Alexander said. “We’ve had some bumps in the road but we are working with students in his classes to make sure they are given fair opportunities. We’re going to move forward and believe that they are going to get a great education.”

Fairmont has hired Carol Livingston, a retired educator and administrator, to take Vesely’s place.  Livingston is qualified to teach both English and Latin. However, her teaching styles may take some time to get used to.

“I don’t expect her to teach like Vesely. He did a great job but his way is not the only effective way to teach. We want her to make adjustments, teach kids, and do what she feels is best for the students,” Alexander said.