Veteran Teachers of the School: Dan Copeland and Marsha Weaver
By Megan Miller
EPHS was a different place with different students, classes and teachers long before the class of 2016 came to the high school. Two teachers, Marsha Weaver and Dan Copeland, have been here longer than any other teacher who are at the high school today. The veteran teachers have seen this school grow into the greatness that it is, so we must honor their years of teaching. When it comes to the veteran teachers, Marsha Weaver has been here the longest, although for part of that time she was a substitute teacher. Weaver first came to Estes Park in 1990, where she worked as a substitute teacher and a filler for any job in the school.
“I came here everyday just to sub. I’d be in the cafeteria; I’d be doing bus duty; I worked as a custodian. They would throw me where they needed me,” said Weaver. After substituting, Weaver moved into a teaching position and taught multiple different subjects. Some of those subjects included Special Education, U.S History, Civics, World Cultures, and Special Education. If she could teach any other subject, she would teach
“I really enjoyed working with the Special Education students. That was enjoyable because you could see a lot of growth [in the students,]” said Weaver. “My first week teaching special education I had a government book thrown at me, a
basketball thrown at me, and a chair and a desk tossed,” said Weaver. “All by the same student and all within one week, but we worked it out.” That was not the only weird experience Weaver’s dealt with with.
“”I’ve had to teach next door to Thomas for 15 years,” said Weaver.
She did not always want to be a teacher. “I thought I was going to go into pre-law but I worked out here one summer at the Y[MCA] with the day camp and I started thinking about that and I really liked working with the kids,” said Weaver. “I enjoyed that there was variety and there was something different every day.” Before Weaver came to EPHS, she taught school in Enid, Oklahoma.
Over the years, Weaver has been able to witness change in one school district. “I think technology has been one of the best changes but one of the worst changes. It’s made everything accessible to students but maybe at too fast of a rate.” said Weaver. Weaver loves teaching her subject and enjoys its variety. Teaching in one place for a long time has given Weaver lots of experience with Estes Park and its citizens.
“You get to know the community,” said Weaver. “I feel like I’m really part of the community and that what happens to this school really is something that I take to heart.
It really means a lot to me because this has become my home.”
While Weaver has been here for quite some time, Dan Copeland has worked at EPHS for almost as long. “I feel like a fossil,” said Copeland. He has been teaching many different Language Arts classes in the high school for 20 years. Some of the classes Copeland has taught include English One, English Two, Newspaper, Yearbook, and Alternate Education.
“The best part about teaching is feeling like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I find it very rewarding,” said Copeland. “I love doing what I do.”
Copeland first went to UNC, Greeley, for college, but two years later he transferred over to CU, Boulder. Copeland first went to college as a business major, but eventually he switched to a major in English literature.
“I was just alway good at writing essays. I loved books. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up,” said Copeland. “I didn’t go to college to be a teacher but afterwards I was like ‘I think I want to be a high school teacher.”
Copeland has seen dramatic changes happen throughout his 20 years of teaching here. “20 years ago, kids used to have a lot more homework and would do it, and now a days most kids just don’t want to do homework…that’s one thing I’ve noticed,” said Copeland. Another experience Copeland had happened while he was working with the Newspaper staff of the high school.
“I had a parent who was a journalist, she was a writer, and her son was on my newspaper staff…the kid was like ‘you don’t know what your doing. I’m going to have my mom come in and teach the class,'” said Copeland. He ended up letting the parent come into class, and after about ten minutes the mother couldn’t take it any more.
“She just could not relate at all to kids and it was just really weird,” said Copeland. “She ended up storming out with her son, withdrew him from school like the next week and ended up homeschooling him,” said Copeland.
Copeland, a well-known teacher in our high school, has witnessed every generation of students graduate for the past 20 years. Now, he is still doing what he loves, teaching English classes and being the supervisor for the Publications organization. “I never planned on being here and staying here but I just really love Estes
Park High School,” said Copeland. “It’s a great place to work.”
Veteran teachers Marsha Weaver and Dan Copeland have offered a lot to this school, so it is our jobs to acknowledge their commitment. No matter what ups or downs came to EPHS, the veteran teachers braved through it all. From year to year, hallway to hallway, our veteran teachers have had the privilege to take part in building the success of our small town school.
Lucky Number States Travelled To
Weaver: 7 Weaver: 40-45
Copeland: 18 Copeland: 46
Pets Years in College
Weaver: 1 cat Weaver: 7
Copeland: 1 dog Copeland: 8
Kids Pair of Shoes
Weaver: 2 Weaver: 30
Copeland: 2 Copeland: 7
Siblings Hours of Sleep
Weaver: 1 Weaver: 8 at least
Copeland: 2 Copeland: 6
Weaver and Copeland stand in front of Weaver’s Oklahoma flag.
Copeland loves teaching Language Arts. “Communicating… is the greatest skill we can participate in. It’s something I love to do, and, hopefully, that passion flows out into my classes,” said Copeland. For Weaver, Social Sciences is the best subject to teach. “I get to teach about the whole world – everything connects to Human Geography and Civics!”