Faculty Farewell: Al Halpain

The heart of the MHS Library

Stella DeLong, Feature Section Editor

With the school year coming to an end, there are some teachers and staff members who are saying goodbye to education. We are spotlighting their careers and some of the special moments that they have within.

Mr. Al Halpain is one of the Media Specialist Clerks at the MHS Library. He has worked at MHS for 14 years. Prior to working at MHS, he was a Special Education English teacher, focusing on teaching kids how to read, which further promoted his love for reading.

Al is known for his infectious personality and always happy-to-help attitude. He works alongside many people who are going to miss him very much.

“I am going to miss him a lot, but I’m happy he is going to enjoy his retirement. He is so awesome with the students and he is going to be missed by many,” said Mrs. Keltner

Al always has the best recommendations and can help you find any book or resource you need.

“He has a wealth of knowledge regarding books, book series, etc.  I am sorely going to miss having him as a resource.  He also has a good sense of humor.  We have shared a lot of laughs together,” said Connie Keitel.

Al has been involved in education for many years, but he hasn’t always been. In his first career, he worked as an accountant but wanted to do more.

“I was still an accountant when 9-11 happened. After that, I realized that I wanted to do more with my life, so I applied to work at a school,” said Al.

Immediately upon the change in scenery and job duties, he felt more fulfilled working with the students every day. Especially as a librarian he loved the connections he would make with students.

“I especially remember a student who hated to read, and when he came into the library I helped him find a book with his interests. Ever since that day, he comes in all the time for new books,” said Al.

Moments like that were what stood out to Al. He loved those small interactions with students that maybe changed their perception of reading. Al loves to help each student find the perfect book.

Over the years, Al has learned a lot in the education field from his times in the classroom, and also in the library.

“The biggest lesson I have learned is to not take it personally. Each kid is different, so I’ve just learned to adapt to whatever is happening at that moment,” said Al.

He has gotten many years to engage with many different students and make those strong relationships that he went into education because.

“I also loved coming back to a school after graduating many years prior and saw how it changed my view on it. I learned so much coming back as an education compared to being a student,” said Al.

Even though Al is retiring he hopes to continue to stay involved in the school and keep his connections with students.

“I am going to try and still stay active and involved. Maybe pick up a part-time job,” said Al.

MHS will all miss Al’s bright smile and his big heart, but we wish him well with whatever path he decided to take.