The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

McDonough prepares for retirement after years of bonding with students

Logan Goldstein
McDonough poses with the banner designed by the first ever grade she taught up at the Middle School.

Teachers are similar to superheroes, each with their own speciality. Whereas Superman possesses superhuman strength, special education Cyndy McDonough’s loving heart is her superpower. She comes to school every day ready to greet her students and provide a comfortable environment for each of them. 

After graduating from West Essex and then moving on to teaching here for 17 years, McDonough is sad to retire from the place she calls home.  

“I love coming to school,” McDonough said. “I’m very sad about leaving, and I have not wrapped my head around it yet. I am not going to see my kids. I’m not going to see my friends here. You know, you become a family.”

She is a special education teacher in reading strategy, earth and environmental science, reading comprehension and biology classes. McDonough wants her students to learn how to apply themselves and understand that their actions have consequences. Apart from the students, she has formed bonds with many teachers over the years.

“I love working because I’ve made so many special connections, like with Mr. Humes for the last eight years,” McDonough said. 

She graduated from Rollins College in Florida and initially worked with computers as a computer system analyst. She then worked at a school for kids with disabilities for six years. 

And McDonough doesn’t just teach. She is currently the sophomore class adviser and has been a class adviser every year since she began teaching at West Essex. She also helps organize and interview for the peer leader program, and she loves getting to know the seniors due to her pivotal role at graduation. 

“The more classes I have, the more kids I meet and that’s awesome,” McDonough said. 

Although excited for this new chapter of her life, McDonough said she will truly miss her students. She loves it when West Essex alumni come back to thank her or just to say hello. McDonough lives in North Caldwell and constantly runs into students around town. She cherishes one memory she shared with her student who lives a few houses down.

 “I called him up and he came and took my generator that was having isues,” McDonough said. “And he took it home for two hours, came back, and it ran perfectly. And I tried to pay him. He threw the money at me and said ‘Are you kidding me, with what you gave me, I owe you so much more than that.’”

Her husband says they never go out on Friday nights because there are past graduates sitting around their table to share their gratitude. 

McDonough looks forward to her retirement plans and plans to move down the shore, learn to play bridge, paint and of course spend time with her grandchildren. Looking back at her time at West Essex, she said, she would not change a thing.  

Behind the Byline
Dani Tiegel
Dani Tiegel, News & Features Editor
Danielle Tiegel, but you can call her Dani, is a News and Features Section Editor for the Wessex Wire. She does competitive dance and is a cheerleader for West Essex. When she is not at the dance studio, she is shopping, napping, or watching “Grey's Anatomy”.
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