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Mr. Torpie Teacher Feature

Mr. Torpies’ main piece of advice for all students at NMHS is to create wonderful memories and live with no regrets.

Lillian Hui

Mr. Torpies’ main piece of advice for all students at NMHS is to create wonderful memories and live with no regrets.

Lillian Hui, Co-Editor 2

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Teaching students and watching them learn over the course of their high school career is a great experience for many teachers. For one in particular, Mr. Peter Torpie, it’s been such a great experience that it’s been part of his life for 31 years. Out of those 31 years, a little less than half of them have been spent here at New Milford High School.

Mr. Torpie didn’t ever think teaching would be part of his life. Instead, he imagined himself soaring through the air and flying airplanes. That all changed though, when his father-in-law, Mrs. Lynn Torpie’s father, persuaded him to try it out. “He said I might be good at it. He was wrong for the first couple of years. I wasn’t a very good teacher then, but I think I got better.”

Senior Alysia Kane had Mr. Torpie her freshman year and worked with him as part of stage crew during her sophomore and senior years for the musical. Kane stated that he taught her to learn to laugh at herself. “You can’t go through your life and be so concerned about how others perceive you and to me the atmosphere of Mr. Torpie’s class helps every student who enters to stand just a little taller when they walk out of that classroom.”

She added, “I think Mr. Torpie’s goal as a teacher is to brighten the day of the students he encounters. He wants to make sure that when students are ready to move on to the next chapter of their life.”

After experiencing so many things over the years, it’s expected that there are specific memories that stick with a person. Mr. Torpie is no different and said his most memorable day in all the years he has been teaching was September 11, 2001. “It was a rough day. I was wrecked and the kids were wrecked. We were all a wreck.”

Of course, things are meant to happen in life and people all move on. The important memories a person should remember are those that leave an impact on another person, rather than those that dwell on the past. Mr. Torpie doesn’t think about how he has made an impact on his students’ lives but knows there’s those things people need to hear that can make their day.

“I feel like it’s usually the small things you say, things that you don’t really think about. Those are the ones that leave an impact, for good or for bad. Sometimes you say can something nice, like a simple line you don’t really think about and kids will carry that with them. And sometimes you say something funny and it hurts the kid’s feelings which can deeply hurt for a long time.”

Not many teachers expect to leave a lasting impact on their students, but they always hope that when their students graduate, they will leave with something special. For Mr. Torpie, that special something is great memories.

“I want them to leave with good memories of high school. Not even in my subject, just in general. They should know they took advantage of everything and won’t look back saying, ‘I wish I had done this, I wish I had done that’.”

Senior Erika Ramos said Mr. Torpie encouraged her to join the musical her sophomore year and has done so every year since, being part of stage crew and the musical itself. Taking part in the musical has become one of her most memorable moments in high school. “Being part of the musical introduced me to some really great people and although it was hard at times, it was really great and it’s an experience I never want to forget.”

For his final words, Mr. Torpie would like to remind everyone to “create wonderful memories, because memories are all you’re going to have. And if you only have boring memories, what an opportunity that was lost.”

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Mr. Torpie Teacher Feature