Surprise retirement party draws huge crowd


Junior Sharon Zhao hugs Biology I teacher Dennis McFaden.

On May 8, the Millennium courtyard was swarming with people, teachers, students and alumni. The anticipation hung in the air as all eyes were on the doors. As retiring Biology I teacher Dennis McFaden stepped out of the door, everyone broke into applause and McFaden could not contain his emotion.

The event, a surprise organized by former students, was held during A-block and marked the close of McFaden’s 30 years spent teaching at Jefferson and Oakton High School. With about 300 current and former students in attendance, it was easy to see exactly how much of a mark he has left on the Jefferson community.

“He’s a loving person who has inspired me to pursue biology further. He will be greatly missed,” freshman Ed Fortunato said.

McFaden received many gifts from students, as well as a collective present of a Barcelona soccer jersey, his favorite team. With the cards piling up in his hands, he posed for numerous pictures with students and alumni alike. He had only kind words and the best wishes for everyone who approached him.

“It has been my pleasure and my privilege to teach you all, because you have taught me. I’ve gotten much more out of this than you ever have,” McFaden said.