Farewell, Mr. Levine

An interview with someone from the class of 2019

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Farewell, Mr. Levine

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You’ve probably seen him around the school, noticed him for his vividly-colored suits or his gravity-defying mustache. Now, you may have seen him, but do you know him? After years of hard work and dedication, Mr. Charles Levine will finally be graduating from school with the class of 2019.
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Mr. Levine is the only Agriculture teacher we have at Blaine High School whose room is in the back of a closet of another room. He teaches a total of five career-related courses focused on preparing students for careers dealing with plants and animals: Animal Management, the most popular, Pre-Vet, Fish and Wildlife Zoology, Fish and Wildlife Ecology, and Floriculture (floral design).
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Now let’s hear from Mr. Levine himself about his journey in education:
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1. How long have you been teaching at Blaine?
“Twelve years here at Blaine… maybe 11?  Nineteen at Hennepin Technical College and three years with Minneapolis Public Schools.”
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2. Why did you want to be a teacher?
“I believe in the power of young people to change the world. Teachers save lives and I respect youth. Academia has proven a good environment for me to work in and make a difference in the lives of others.”
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3. Who were your biggest role models when getting your teaching degree? (Your parents or influential professors)
“I have been fortunate to have had several really great and influential high school teacher and college professors. They may have inspired me to get here but it is the hundreds of amazing and wonderful students that have kept me here.”
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4. What’s gotten you through getting up early for school all these years?
“Umm….. the money. Actually, I am pretty responsible and I know that as I roll out of bed each morning so too are those students who make it for my 1st-hour class and they inspire me to start my day.”
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5. What is something you want your students to leave your class with (what life lessons)?
“I want students to feel inspired to pursue their life and that they can achieve their goals and a happy and prosperous life. That things really do get better and the sun will shine again.  I hope student still feel good about who they are and their life choices.”
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6. How have you tried to have a positive influence on students through GSA?
“By serving as an Out and Proud teacher and role model. I think teachers save lives and all students have a place and should feel safe and respected at school and in life.”
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7. What was your experience as an “out and proud” teacher? Was it mainly positive, mainly negative?
“My experience as an Out and Proud teacher was just that. It’s who I am and I like myself.  I have found Anoka-Hennepin and Blaine High School to be very supportive of its LGBTQ+ 🏳️‍🌈 students. So very positive.”
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8. When did you know it was time to retire?
“LOL June 7, 2019. I reached a goal of ‘Rule of 90’ and I have a lot to look forward to. It is a big and beautiful world and I want to Experience it.”
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9. Has teaching at Blaine changed you in any way? How?
“Teaching at Blaine has been a gift. I have worked with very positive staff. Blaine has provided many opportunities for me to grow personally and professionally. I am a better person for having worked here and am very grateful.”
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10. What is the thing that you will miss most about teaching at Blaine?
“Having the opportunity to interact and interview with interesting young people such as you. thank you for this opportunity.”
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I had the pleasure of taking Mr. Levine’s fish and wildlife zoology class. It was like no class I had ever taken before. I was actually able to meet a bobcat, a slither of snakes and other reptiles, two slimy leeches, and two adorable sugar gliders. I was truly inspired by not only what Mr. Levine was teaching, but I was also inspired by how he is always unapologetically himself, something we should all strive to be.
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So, Mr. Levine’s teaching days have come to a close. After twelve, maybe eleven, years here at Blaine, Levine is moving on to the next chapter of his life. Blaine is saying farewell to a beloved teacher. Now, Mr. Levine may be leaving, but his impact will stay with his students and with Blaine high school forever.
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