Mr. Carney, King of Senior Health

Ask anyone in the school about Mr. Carney, you’ll get an enthusiastic response and nothing less than the biggest of smiles.


Celia Schmeidler

Mr. Carney knows that every health lecture could use a bit of fun. He trusts that comfort and humor can make for the best of learning environments.

Celia Schmeidler, Bear Hub Staff

Giggles echo through B-hall as Mr. Carney entertains his senior health class. Several pictures of his dopey dog, and mortal enemy, grace the walls of his classroom. B-26 is a safe haven for seniors who come to learn and escape from the stressors of core classes as senioritis take hold. Mr. Carney, his teaching style, and fantastic sense of humor is just the remedy.

Students type away as he lectures on the human body. However, these students are doing much more than just taking notes – they’re documenting the very words that come from Mr. Carney’s mouth.

From the minds of his very own quarter three senior health students, “Carney’s Quotes Doc” was born.

The idea was sparked in disbelief, seniors at lunch saying “you guys will never believe half of the things Carney said today.”

Sam Wetstein, 12, explained that once she was added to the document by a friend, she “started recording everything funny that he would say because it was just so out there.”

That’s how iconic Mr. Carney is. That’s how much of an impact he is making on his students every day. They are immortalizing him through his personal quotes.

Along with the rest of the Health Department, Carney is no stranger to the attention. It’s what you get when you’re one of the best teachers in the school. Everyone knows about his funny antics with McQuade and Barbato. At this point, the trio is essentially an urban myth. You see their name on your schedule and get excited because you know it doesn’t matter if you’re learning about parallel parking, or CPR, or contraceptives, because whatever it is, the health teachers will find a way to make it fun. A true testament to Mr. Carney and the department as a whole.

That being said, as soon as I heard about the document some students were making in Mr. Carney’s honor, I knew I wanted to know more.

When I first asked Mr. Carney for an interview, he asked “why?” I told him it was because he seemed to be everyone’s favorite teacher and I wanted to find out why. He smiled jokingly, half in disbelief and half in gratitude.

When given the document as a whole at the end of quarter three, he explained that he “definitely was surprised because it was a 12-page document, so there was obviously a lot of time put into it. And it was across three different classes- so it wasn’t something that was done overnight. There was a lot of effort put in and that was something that I appreciated.”

In terms of the quote document, “it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten teaching. Certainly.”

— Mr. Carney

His students started the document as a joke, a fun way for his students of all classes to connect in Mr. Carney’s honor. Senior health student Keira Marques originated the document and remarked that “it was a joy and the highlight of my quarter to make that for Mr. Carney and make him smile.”

In coming to terms with his impact on his students, Mr. Carney his goal as a health teacher to keep senior health a good and comfortable environment. “I want the kids to have fun because it’s not totally new information. It’s some of their, you know, last health class they are ever going to take and so I want them to learn but I also want it to be a good time for everybody. So I really was happy that I felt like they got to experience that in my class.”

He explained that his most recent gift has given him “a new appreciation for my students and for the amount of time and effort that they put into something that was small. And they just did it because, well I’m sure they had fun with it, but they did it for me, which was really nice of them. It really showed the kind of selflessness that they had to do that.’

It isn’t rare to hear about Mr. Carney and his teaching shenanigans from the seniors around the school. But this local legend is as humble as they come. To Carney, the recognition “definitely feels good.”
Apart from the small number of seniors he doesn’t get to teach, a group he has so lovingly deemed “the forgotten few,” he is proud to know that his senior students “are enjoying the class and that it’s positive because you know, honestly, with the amount of time that I spend to try to make it positive place, it would be bad if it wasn’t.”

As for the quote document, it’s just further proof that something about Mr. Carney is truly special. And next year’s seniors, they can be sure they are in good hands when it comes to health class. With Mr. Carney, health is about more than just learning, it’s about comfort and having fun along the way.