The Wise Words Of Mr. Kav

Sophia Weingart, Staff Writer

When I first scheduled a time to meet with Mr. Kavanaugh to interview him, I was in his office for an entire period and we didn’t get through a single question for the interview. Mr. Kav instead spent the whole time asking me questions about the changes that have occurred in my life throughout the past 4 years since having him as a teacher. The interview that you will be reading about now is the second scheduled time meeting with Mr. Kav to complete this interview. This interview took 2 periods to successfully complete due to Mr. Kav and I getting off-topic. 

Picture provided by Mr. Kav

Mr. Kav is beginning his 8th year teaching at Victor, however, his first 7 years were spent in the Junior High School before coming to the High School this year. Mr. Kav stated, “I have been working here for 7 or 8 years, I can’t keep track. Let’s go with 8. This is my 8th year. Tough start but we are going with 8 years, my final answer locked in.” 

Mr. Kav is very involved with activities here at the school. He helps coach the Varsity and JV hockey teams, along with coaching Modified football and also serves as an adviser to the Global Competency Club with Mrs. Rydzynski.

Picture provided by Mr. Kav

Mr. Kav went on to say that his goal is to make connections and build relationships with all his students. I can attest to this as I was lucky enough to have Mr. Kav in Junior High, and it is very clear that he connects and relates to all of his students very easily. He knows what his purpose is as a teacher and what he wants his students to know when they walk away from his classroom at the end of the year. 

“My goal is that I want students to know that, as a teacher, yes, I want them to be successful in my classroom and learn the content. But I hope they leave my room every day knowing that I care much more about their overall well-being and success as a human. When students leave high school, are they better off having taken my class? I really hope so and to me, that goes well beyond the social studies curriculum.”

Moving from Junior High to High School comes with many changes as in the school itself and the students that go with it. “Obviously the biggest one is the block scheduling, that was a little nerve-racking. I thought I’m going to have to do so much more planning to do for each class, but honestly, I’ve enjoyed the longer classes and feel like there’s a lot we can do as a class during the entire block. For the students, the maturity aspect has definitely been a change I’ve noticed. It’s so cool seeing me grow into a young adult. I’m pretty lucky to have that opportunity and have a lot of them again in class.”

Picture provided by Mr. Kav

Mr. Kav said he had no idea what he wanted to do as a career when he went off to SUNY Fredonia. Specifically, he said, “I would have laughed in your face if you tried to tell me I was going to be a teacher my freshman year of college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to go into communications and just work with people. It wasn’t until I had a summer job that I worked with an autistic student. I thought to myself, this is pretty awesome to have had an impact on this student, and as I thought back to some of my mentors and the people who were there for me in high school it led me down the education path and into teaching.” 

Mr. Kav was definitely one of my favorite teachers not only in junior high but in all of my years as a student, and I know many others can agree. I wanted to hear about Mr. Kav’s favorite teacher in high school but instead, he dug deeper and told me about someone special who was not exactly a teacher but a mentor to him. “I would say one of my biggest influences was probably Coach Ferreri for sure. Definitely, one of the people I looked up to and I can credit for who I became as a junior, and senior not only on the ice but in the school and community as well. Now coaching alongside him today is really a full circle experience.”

Mr. Kav recently got engaged over the summer, as the last part of the interview I asked if he could walk me through the story of the big moment. 

Picture provided by Mr. Kav

“The story is pretty funny, we went up to Maine and we were doing a hike because the night before we were in Bar Harbor, which is a tourist attraction, and yeah, we’re not doing that in public. No thank you. Anyways, we’re on a hike and we get to the top of the trail. It’s beautiful, you have a 360-degree view but there are all these people around. I’m like ‘Okay I’ve got it in my bag’, the ring that is, and I pull it out and put it in my pocket. The problem is it’s still in the box, so now I’m kind of panicking, and we start to go down the trail. There’s no one around for a second, and I’m like ‘okay you just gotta do it, don’t think, just do it.’ and I was in front of her and I spun around so fast. Got on one knee, and I think it all happened so fast that the first words out of her mouth were ‘Woah!’ It broke the ice, and we had a great laugh and somewhere in there, she said yes. It was a nice way to end summer and something to look forward to for sure!”