Final countdown


While most students are counting down the days until summer arrives, Dr. Wright Vermilya is counting down the days until retirement. After 43 years of teaching AB, BC, and Multivariable Calculus, the last ten spent at Etowah, Vermilya has finally decided that his time to stop teaching is upon him. 

“It never really occurred to me to retire,” Vermilya said. 

Vermilya has always considered himself to be a bit of a teaching nerd. He enjoys spending his summers planning for the upcoming school year and will miss the chaos of trying to get everything ready for his students. While he does plan to take time off to travel, golf, bowl, and take care of his wife, Vermilya is still going to make an appearance at Etowah from time to time. He has been going over material with Tabitha Box, a fellow math teacher, to prepare her to teach Multivariable Calculus, and is more than willing to help her if she has a lot on her plate. 

“[I’m going to miss] the interaction with students every day. I have some students that really make my day every time I come in,” Vermilya said. 

While Vermilya has taught many kids throughout his career, his students have also taught him a few things along the way. He has noticed that despite some observations, students do care about their education and future, and that they have a real impact on the world around them. Students, in his eyes, are also activists who are perfectly capable of standing up for what they believe in. 

“It’s neat to be watching students on the verge of going off and kind of forming their own life,” Vermilya said. 

Vermilya has experienced the good and the bad while being a teacher, but has loved the time he spent as an educator. After dedicating his life to helping students grow, it is time for Vermilya to relax and enjoy his well-deserved retirement.