Retiring Torrington educator believes ‘It’s all about people’
TORRINGTON – After nearly five decades with the Goshen County School District, (GCSD) Torrington Middle School (TMS) Principal Marv Haiman, has chosen to graciously acknowledge it’s time for retirement.
Throughout the past several weeks, there have been numerous retiring educators and staff that have reflected on what has been quite an amazing journey over the years. Each and every one of them has made a strong impact on others in more ways than one. Whether it be with students, colleagues, families, the community or all of the above, each and every one of them has left what would be a positive mark on the people they have influenced.
With so many community members acknowledging quite a list of retiring GCSD staff, there was one who was asked about by both peers, and former students just a bit more than the rest. That particular educator was indeed Marv Haiman.
One would most certainly agree that an educator does not dedicate nearly fifty years of their life, to a cause so much greater than themselves without having an impact.
Haiman, a self-proclaimed cowboy at heart, is a distinguished University of Wyoming (UW) alumni, having earned a Master’s Degree of School Administration, as well as being a part of the Doctorate program there for a time.
Although a vast portion of his life has been in Wyoming, the journey actually began in Chicago, Illinois years ago.
Haiman would attend and graduate from St. Joseph’s High School where he played and excelled at basketball. This particular high school would actually produce a future NBA Hall of Famer, which Haiman had the privilege to witness during their years there.
“Isaiah Thomas went there as well,” Haiman said. “I watched him play, but I wasn’t as good as him. St. Joe’s had a great basketball program for a lot of years. The coach there won over a thousand games during his career. Basketball was a big part of my life as a kid. I played a lot of three on three games in the parks back then.”
When it came time to leave high school, Haiman knew that he wanted to be independent. Following the direction the majority of his classmates were headed was not something he was interested in. He would take it upon himself with the help of one friend, to say goodbye to Chicago. With that he decided to head westward.
“When I graduated from high school, I didn’t want to go with everyone else,” Haiman said. I had a friend who was going to the University of Wyoming. It reminded me of northern Wisconsin where we would vacation. So I went to UW and met my wife Gerri there. We’ve been married for 55 years now.”
Although education is where Haiman would find his true calling, there were a hefty number of jobs beforehand that he was able to experience. Education was a top priority that his father was insistent on. It wasn’t until later that Haiman realized the impact his father’s direction had on both his work ethic, as well as his career.
“I had interesting summer jobs,” Haiman said. “My dad would call some friends and ask, ‘Could you get my son a job?’ Unbeknownst to me later on in life, my dad was telling his friends to give me the worst jobs they had so that I stayed in school. I worked at a cardboard box factory. It was in a metal building, would be 100 degrees outside, and I’d be in there stacking boxes. I also worked for Moxie Trucking, and just worked with a lot of good people and made an honest living.”
Not only this, but one other job required Haiman not only to develop his sea legs, but also to work and run for his life on a daily basis.
“I’ve also worked with U.S. boats and barge departments,” Haiman said. “Overseas boats, which was scary. The crane would swing slabs of steal, and you had to run for your life to get away in case the chains broke. Again good people, hardworking people, honest people; it was a very good experience.”
When it came to the reflection of his storied journey in education, Haiman was remindful that although teaching and learning is a huge aspect, the key to longevity has been about building positive relationships.
“What I loved most about education was the people,” began Haiman. “It’s all about the people. It’s about the relationships you build with kids, adults, parents and communities. For example, every parent wants the best for their child. As educators we want the best for every child. It’s about helping individuals learn, grow and mature.”
Haiman also continued with noting that although teachers and counselors play a crucial role within the school districts, every single staff member has a job that is vital to the success of children.
“It’s not just about the teachers or counselors,” Haiman continued. “Custodians make a difference, secretaries make a difference, assistants make a difference. It was always about three things, relationship rigor, providing kids with quality education, and the third one was wanting them to learn rather than require them to learn. Just getting them inspired to live. Great teachers, great educators and great school employees work form the heart, not the head.”
Haiman further noted that despite being ready and eager to spend more time with family, friends and hobbies in retirement, there will be loads to be missed from such a storied career. Most comes from again, strong inspiring relationships that have been built for so many years.
“I’m going to miss the people, for sure,” Haiman said. “I’ve worked with great people. Again the kids most of all, but the staff I’ve worked with; teachers, administrators and superintendents. I’ll miss daily interactions with kids. Just standing in the hall seeing them with their schedules, going to class and working with great teachers.
“Teachers teaching, that’s a thrill to me. I just love watching people that are experts at what they do. They do their thing, whether it’s music directors, coaches, however it is. I feel that I’ve been privileged to work with great folks. Again secretaries, custodians, assistants and cooks that have a smile on their face. So I’ll miss the people. Everyone makes an impact.”
Acknowledging that the TMS, as well as the GCSD will be moving forward without him, Haiman was confident and hopeful they will continue moving in a positive direction with the high quality education standard he is so passionate about.
“I’d like to see Torrington Middle School continued to grow as a middle school,” Haiman explained. “It’s not junior high, it’s not upper elementary. Just continue to embrace the middle school theory into the school. I’d like to see the district maintain and enhance their commitment to educating all kids at highs levels. That’s challenging. It comes down in my opinion, not to programs but people. How do we put the best possible people in front of kids? To me that was the most important part of my job as principal. I was hirings great folks, particularly teachers but in all positions. I think we have a tremendous school district with involved parents, and very dedicated educators with great kids. Goshen County and Torrington, is a macrocosm of American society.”