Mr. Pennell Brightens C.A. Students’ Day

Seth Courtad, Writer


On September 11th, Mr. Pennell’s 8th period Government class sat down with the same readiness to learn that they always did. Once class started, a curious student asked Mr. Pennell where he was on 9/11, and Mr. Pennell answered with an interesting and informative story about the 2001 Senior Class trip. This conversation would lead to a discussion of the Iraq war and why the U.S. became involved in the first place.

        In the heat of this explanation, Mr. Pennell unsheathed a black dry-erase marker, making his way to the whiteboard where he asked the question: “How many weapons of mass destruction [in Iraq] do you think we found in fifteen years?”

A few timid answers popcorned across the classroom.

     “One,” said a voice from the back.

     “Two,” another voice suggested.

Mr. Pennell uncapped his marker, and in one glorious, decisive stroke he drew a bold and beautiful zero. There was a brief moment of silence as Mr. Pennell took a step back. It had all happened so fast, but the class slowly realized the gravity of the situation. There, on the whiteboard, stood a monument to Mr. Pennell’s passion as a teacher: a Circle so perfect and void of blemishes, born not of artistic drive but educational need.

The classroom exploded with applause as Mr. Pennell proudly grabbed his phone from his office to take a picture of his accomplishment. David Austin would then proceed to convince Mr. Pennell to take a picture with The Circle.

Mr. Pennell decided not to erase The Circle –  it had become a symbol of hope. The Circle remained on the whiteboard for the rest of the day, brightening the lives of whoever came in contact with it.

When asked about Mr. Pennell’s circle, Senior Katie Hallock said, “It was surreal. I didn’t know that level of perfection could be achieved. Then again, I should have expected it from Mr. Pennell.”

Junior Julia Fisher said “Mr. Pennell’s reaction [to his perfect Circle] reminded me that I can take pride in my work and share my accomplishments without being boastful. I love how happy he was. It warmed my heart.”

It’s rumored that prolonged exposure to The Circle can provide clearer skin and forgive student loan debt. Whether or not The Circle can still be found in Mr. Pennell’s classroom is unknown; regardless, The Circle will live in the hearts and minds of all who were there on that fateful day.