Road to Recovery


Because of surgery, Principal Mr. Markey was absent in the building for ten days handing his job to the deans, assistant principals, and support staff. 

“Mrs. [Anita] Huffman, our assistant principal, took some of my teacher observations because I had to finish them this month and I knew I would run out of time,” Markey said. She also took over building meetings, represented him at district meetings, and communicated with parents. 

Mr. Markey’s assistant Mrs. Anabel Nieto-Duran took part in “a lot of rescheduling” for Mr. Markey, seeing as he couldn’t make most of his meetings. The role of a principal covers many different areas including leadership, teacher evaluation, and student discipline, and “it is very important to continue his work consisting of deadlines that must be met,” said Nieto-Duran.

Huffman explained that she knows how hard it was for Markey to be away: “He misses being here on a consistent basis and feels like he’s leaving not only the administration team but also the teachers and students.” And she underscored the importance of picking up the additional work created by his temporary absence.“His work is essential to the function of our school so it is extremely important that we made sure that anything that was necessary got handled. He did a wonderful job of giving me things that weren’t super overwhelming.,” Huffman clarified that during the absence, “We were still in constant communication and I was trying to help him as much as I can.”

There’s always a bit of anxiety and fear when entering a surgery, but Markey relied on his doctors, and even some Leyden connections, to prepare himself. “I was very confident about the surgeon after meeting with him,” he said. 

Hannah Dahlke, who underwent the same laparoscopic surgery to repair torn hip cartilage, was Markey’s Leyden connection. “She was probably the person who made me feel best about it because nobody else knows what it is,” he said.