Talking Turkey With Teachers

Thanksgiving Dinner is a time when families can come together, share a meal, and spend time with one another. Hall High School students were asked which teacher they would want to have Thanksgiving dinner with this year. The top 3 teachers who were chosen were Franklin Robinson, Gym teacher and football coach; Kelly Fransen, an English teacher; and Justin Boucher, a Psychology teacher.

As shown in the graph below, Kelly Fransen won the poll with 34.8% of the votes. Coach Robinson was a close second with 23.9 percent of the votes.

Poll of teachers that were chosen by students to eat Thanksgiving dinner with. ( Nicolai Yanko)

When asked about her winning of the poll, Kelly Fransen was surprised she was chosen. She said, “It was Ironic that I was chosen! For one, I have Tofurkey for Thanksgiving.” Kelly Fransen is a vegan who celebrates Thanksgiving to be with her family but not for the food. She tries to find things like vegan chocolate cake to eat for dessert. 

Kelly Fransen said that she would have a student over for Thanksgiving if they needed somewhere to eat. She said she doesn’t like holidays because they are extra work; however, she is grateful that the students chose her.

When informed of the fact that students chose to have dinner with Coach Robinson, he said, “[He] was very surprised and very honored!” He’s always been a big fan of Thanksgiving to the point where it is his favorite holiday “so that [being chosen] made this feel even more special.” He too would love to share Thanksgiving with his students, but he also said that his personal choice would’ve been one of the history teachers. “It would be fun to talk ‘history’ of certain topics (the foods, the culture, the origination) while eating Thanksgiving dinner” he concluded. 

The third chosen teacher was none other than Justin Boucher, one of the Psychology teachers on the Hall High School faculty. When asked the same questions as Coach Robinson, he had a more analytical approach. 

He described the process of spatchcocking a turkey. “When you Spatchcock, you have to cut the spine out of the turkey…flip it over and you give it one really good chest compression and break its sternum.” He also went on to illustrate how one cooks the turkey, and describes the process in which “one gets a much moisture bird.” Boucher, like his other colleagues, was very grateful for the students’ choice. 

Justin Boucher loves hosting the festivities, and wouldn’t mind accompanying any other faculty member to their own Thanksgiving. The guests of Boucher’s Thanksgiving rely on him for food and preparation. He believes that the holiday is rich in history, but even more rich in togetherness. 

Students at Hall High were questioned about the qualities they found important in their choice of teacher. They had very different answers. Senior Xavier Rodriguez said that he would want to have Thanksgiving dinner with the teacher with whom he felt the closest bond, Coach Robinson. He explained that “Coach Robinson would be the pick for me because he cares about all of his players, and I feel like I have the most connection with him.”

Other students, like sophomore Sean Scully, took a different approach. Sean wanted to have the funniest teacher that he thought would share the best stories at his Thanksgiving dinner. He said he wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner with the most entertaining teacher. To Sean, having fun is the key.

Finally, another student described different criteria for his invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. Senior Justin Leopold loves turkey, so he thought more about who could help produce the best meal. He said, “I don’t know what teacher is the best cook, but I want them at my Thanksgiving dinner.” Shown below is the picture of the turkey that Justin is going to prepare for Thanksgiving this year.

Justin Lepold’s Turkey (James Renda)

The Hall High School community welcomes the warmth that Thanksgiving brings. They visualize it in a lens filled with unity and enlightenment. Celebrating it for them, the poll we took brought materialization to the gratefulness that the community expressed. Individuals who were chosen gave back their gratitude and showed what it means to be a member of the Hall High School team. Students and teachers alike, all had different perspectives with the same thought in mind, that is, the positivity of Thanksgiving. Maybe one day, we can all Spatchcock a vegan Tofurkey while throwing a football.