Standing outside New Covenant Church after Germantown High School’s last-ever class became graduates, history teacher Ted Williams talked about how proud he was of his students.
Specifically, he noted the runners who were part of the 2012-13 boys cross-country team, the first in school history, he said.
When GHS closes its doors for good on Friday, that team will be the school’s last, as well.
“It took a lot of hard work to get started, and it’s sad that we can’t see it through,” Williams said as the Class of ’13 was trotting off along a variety of future paths. “But, they made it worth it. We’ll always take pride in it.”
Despite its meager one-year existence, Williams said the Germantown cross-country team left a memorable mark.
Two runners qualified for the PIAA State Cross Country Championships, with senior Raheem Henry finishing among the top half of entrants. (Sophomore Takeem Ford finished 42 seconds behind him in the 5,000-meter race).
Williams, a third-year teacher, didn’t fixate on the finish line that this week represented at commencement.
However, he shared his thoughts on a “Faces of the Layoffs” profile in which he also lauded history students who participated in a Civil War anniverary poetry celebration.
“I’m very proud of all my students,” he wrote. “But now, after these years of hard work, long hours, and strife and success, I’m being shown the door without any return of gratitude or thanks.
“This is the second time I have been laid off by the district, the first following the 2010-2011 school year. I remain strong in the face of uncertainty, knowing that I did my best to provide strong educational opportunities for my students.”