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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Dan Kinne: Teacher Feature

Permanent Building Sub: Dan Kinne


As students, we’ve all felt those first moments of splendor and wonder as we realize that our actual teacher for the day isn’t there.  In most situations, it’s a toss-up, but on almost every occasion, there isn’t a student within the walls of Ludlow high school that wouldn’t relish the chance to see Mr. Dan Kinne behind the teacher’s desk for their period of instruction.  

But why? Why has Mr. Kinne built up such a report within the walls of Ludlow high school? The answer in one word: Consistency. Mr. Kinne has been considered the “building sub since the winter of 2007-08, and as a result he has come to the school, every day we’ve had school and according to him, has almost never been short of work.  

“There have only been two days in my entire career as buildings sub where there wasn’t anything to do,” Kinne said.  “The only room I have yet to not serve as substitute in was Mr. Lattanzio’s room.”  

As a result, Mr. Kinne is a member of the LHS staff and family.  We’ve all seen him, and this, as he says, contributes to why he doesn’t have much trouble in his job.  

“The kids know me, what I will and won’t tolerate, and as a result I don’t write up nearly as many students as I used to,” said Kinne.  

His temperance probably came from a legitimate understanding of high school life; after all Mr. Kinne attended Monument Mountain Regional High School and followed up with a history degree at Westfield state, graduating from there in 2006.  A question many might ask at this point would be…why Ludlow?  

Truth is, Mr. Kinne originally intended, albeit with relatively loose intentions, to follow up his undergraduate degree with some time in graduate school, potentially gaining a job after that.  However, due to a closing of the Games Workshop, a table-top gaming establishment in the Holyoke mall, he tasked himself to finding some work elsewhere.  That elsewhere proved to be the confines of Ludlow High School.  

Yet, there’s something missing in this description.  There are substitute jobs at basically every high school in the general area, including that of Holyoke, so what motivated Dan Kinne to choose Ludlow?  The answer, as cheesy and fabricated as it may seem, was love.  

It turns out, Mr. Kinne met his wife-to-be in the midst of his senior year of college, and as his tenuous plans for graduate school became more and more uncertain, he found assurance in his heart.  Yes, assurance in his heart. Hallmark-esque sentiments aside, Kinne found, in his burgeoning relationship, the inspiration to take a step that many in a position of youth often fear: commitment.  

Mr. Kinne became engaged, and as he was without a job post games workshop employment, he utilized his degree to the best of his ability and made a break for Ludlow, a surprising destination indeed.  

“I had never actually been to Ludlow before I became engaged,” Kinne said.  

Everything seemed to fall into place for Mr. Kinne whose housing and employment soon became easily identified within the town limits.  Mr. Kinne is now a Ludlowite, and his life has been marked by stability.  His grounding in both professional and personal life has made him an ideal teacher.  He takes a life that he himself has pronounced as having been “fairly easy” and uses that even-headedness to explore the relationship between himself and his students.  

“When you encounter a student, you don’t know what they’re coming from” said Kinne.  “My life has been pretty easy, and sometimes you won’t believe the stuff they come in and deal with and have to try to learn with.”  

Kinne has always been a relatively tranquil force as a substitute, and there is often a respect in that.  He doesn’t overreact, and he often doesn’t pander to the students that he substitute teaches.  

“ A quote that my wife, who also is a teacher, heard, and this always meant something to me, was ‘The students don’t need a thirty year old friend’ and I believe that.” said Kinne.  “Even if they don’t like you, they can respect you, which is far more important.”  

If and when Mr. Kinne finally does become a fully paid salary-bound member of the LHS staff, this writer is positive he will command the respect of whomever he instructs.

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