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Lincoln East teacher known for predictions of snowy days retires, but predictions will continue
Chuck Morgan, the longtime Lincoln East teacher with the Snow Day crystal ball, is retiring after 26 years.
But his more than 6,600 Twitter followers don’t have to worry: the geography and history professor has no plans to stop his forecast for snow days.
Longtime East High women’s football coach Morgan is somewhat of a popular hero on social media, where his predictions at @ weather4us have become legendary for college students with a fondness for snowy days.
“They are either very happy with me, and there have been a few times where I went wrong and, boy, I’m crazy for change in school,” Morgan said with a laugh. “But that’s all part of the fun.”
He has no real influence on the decision to cancel school – a committee is making that decision – but Morgan said Superintendent Steve Joel is a fan of the Twitter account and encouraged him to keep him retired.
Morgan’s interest in the weather started when he became a teacher, he often shared his weather forecasts at school. Then, in 2011, students encouraged him to broadcast his weather appeals to the masses on social media.
The Twitter account took off.
“I built a fan base,” he said. “These kids really rallied behind me.”
Morgan said the time had come for his retirement after more than two decades in East. Alternative education may be in the cards, but Morgan is initially eager to travel and spend time with his family – he has five grandchildren – and also hopes to catch up on the gardening chores.
The 66-year-old never considered becoming a teacher in his forties after a stint in the military and time spent at various odd jobs including a ski business and a galvanized steel factory.
“I’m kind of the modern Forrest Gump,” he said.
Proposed changes could end school librarians in Nebraska, advocates say
LPS, which has more than 40,000 students and employs more than 60 school librarians, would be required to employ a single part-time librarian for the entire district if state accreditation rules were changed.
Morgan decided to continue his education and began teaching college in Lincoln East while still offered there before moving on to high school.
It is the children, he says, who will miss him the most, especially the shy students with whom he enjoyed engaging in conversations. He will also miss the staff, from his fellow teachers to administration and guards.
“It was a great trip,” he said. “Nothing beats being a teacher.”
The past year has been a particularly busy one for Morgan. LPS used the five snow days built into their schedule, including several during the February cold snap that brought historically low temperatures to Lincoln.
So, what next year?
“It’s so hard to predict,” Morgan said. “But I would bet safely that we would probably see three days of snow.”
After school program
If your student is enrolled in summer school this year, they can register for free afternoon programs offered by Lincoln Community Learning Centers.
The program is available to K-12 students enrolled in summer school, which takes place weekday mornings in June. If you’re a parent who can’t pick up your student after morning summer school, or a student looking for something else to do, you can stick around for afternoon CLC classes, many of which are centered on STEM and the outdoors.
The classes are funded by a grant from Beyond School Bells, a local organization committed to providing after-school opportunities for students.
Ten years after the district office fire, Joel reflects on navigating the LPS through an even bigger challenge: a pandemic
“I feel like this pandemic was probably the hardest thing I have ever endured in my life,” the superintendent said from his office earlier this month. “It has been an ongoing, daily thing. “
In a typical year, programming is only offered at Title I schools, said CLC director Nola Derby-Bennett.
But with the summer school available to all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students this year, it made sense to expand the district’s afternoon offerings.
“It keeps the students in this mental school mode,” Derby-Bennett said.
CLC courses are offered all summer – not just in June – but are only free as a complementary option with the summer school.
Derby-Bennett said approximately 1,500 students are participating in the free programming this summer and registration is still open.
Parents can contact their children’s school for more information.
Year to remember
The Class of 2021 will make history, mainly because of what it has missed over the past year, said Mark Larson, director of Lincoln High.
“I can’t imagine being 16 and being housebound, isolated from my friends and not being able to do as many things that I loved,” Larson said during the graduation ceremony Friday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
LPS to make masks optional for fully immunized high school students over the summer
Masks will still be mandatory for elementary and middle school students, while fully vaccinated teachers will no longer have to wear them.
However, a pandemic is nothing new for Lincoln’s oldest high school.
In October 1918, students at Lincoln High were forced to leave the classroom as the Spanish flu spread.
No zoom at the time, Larson noted. The students were simply sent home.
But even with the availability of virtual learning more than a century later, the 2021 class has shown the same persistence and gained a lot to replace what has been lost, Larson said.
Squeak. Resilience. An unwavering belief that whatever life throws at you, you can take it.
And now a diploma to show for it.
No drive-thru or card showers this year: Lincoln’s Class of 2021 brings back traditional graduation parties
The city’s seniors are bringing back that eternal spring send-off: a good old-fashioned American graduation party.
By the numbers
* 2,790. The graduates who moved the acorns on their mortars during ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena over Memorial Day weekend. Well done to them.
* 3.5 million. Number of minutes teachers and students at LPS spent on Zoom per day at the height of the pandemic. However, it seems that distance learning will be a thing of the past for many.
* 73. Days until the first day of school. But who matters?