Mr. Perryman: A Teacher Impacting Students for the Better

Anna Deane '23, Social Media Coordinator

Nowadays, finding a teacher who motivates you to want to learn is difficult. In my experience, I have only had a few excellent teachers who have made a difference in my education. In my senior year of high school, I had the chance to have Mr. Perryman. Mr. Perryman is a man who has dedicated the past two-plus decades of his life to teaching at Westborough High School. After only having him for about two months, I can confidently say he has impacted my education for the better.

Mr. Perryman grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. During his years in school, he struggled to succeed. Mr. Perryman didn’t like how his teachers were disinterested in their jobs and believed that the school defined students by their performance rather than considering them as actual people with interests and busy lives outside of school.

Once leaving high school, Mr. Perryman attended Willamette University in Oregon and then went to grad school at Boston College. After graduating from Boston College, Mr. Perryman found himself working for a hotel company in Cambridge and worked there until he was able to pay his way through teaching school, which he ended up doing at Framingham State University, where he received his teaching license. He then student-taught at Westborough High school and was later hired as a full-time teacher. He has provided a safe space for students over his 24 years of teaching.

Due to Mr. Perryman’s negative experiences in high school, he knew he had to make an impact on the way the school system worked. Seeing the world teenagers live in today, Mr. Perryman understands that the world we are navigating is so complex, which is why he provides students with a place to relax, laugh, and enjoy at least something in school. Mr. Perryman’s class allows students to “bring out the sides of themselves that school has a really good way of squashing down.” Whether through creative projects or interactive discussions, Mr. Perryman’s class has given so many other students and me the ability to find interest in so many different topics that, more than likely, I would have never known of.

Mr. Perryman’s class is one of the few classes I get excited to attend. Not only does Mr.Perryman try to be aware that we all have lives outside of school but is also considerate of our time, but he also has a snack drawer that plenty of students and I frequently visit.
In Mr. Perryman’s 24 years here, he has taught almost every English class available for each grade level. During the summer of his younger years, Mr. Perryman spent time in a bookstore that his grandma owned. When the store wasn’t busy, his grandma would often read, so with not having many other options, Mr. Perryman began to read as well, forming his appreciation for English.

As well as teaching English classes, Mr. Perryman also teaches a cooking class. After teaching a cooking class for just a year, Mr. Perryman came up with the idea of starting an integrated cooking class. The goal of this class is for special education students to come together with general education students. This integrated cooking class practices socialization and life skills, a significant part of the WHS Stride Program’s curriculum. Students can spend time interacting with general ed students providing them with the practice of interacting, getting along, and cooperating with others. Along with this, life skills like being accustomed to kitchen equipment and learning how to make food are a big part of this integrated cooking class.

Mr. Perryman says, “The goal of all special education programs is to always come up with and foster these students with the least restricted environment, so students can have as much freedom of movement and freedom of choice as possible,” which is exactly what the integrated cooking class aims to do.

Although it is more work than the four English classes Mr. Perryman teaches combined, he says, “It is very rewarding personally and professionally.”

In all of Mr. Perrymans years, he has made a significant impact on Westborough High School and many students’ lives. It is sure he will continue to accomplish what he initially sought to do — change the school system for the better.