Jags pay tribute to beloved teacher


Screen capture of Patrick Kennedy from a recent version of his Shout Out program which recognized accomplishments of students each month.

A tribute to Patrick Kennedy: teacher, mentor, coach, friend, colleague, brother, son, innovator, announcer, and writer; a man of great character.

There is truly an art to teaching. A teacher who engages students in learning and goes beyond expectation to make sure each student feels valued has mastered the art. The influence of a great teacher can never be erased.

If someone were to ask the students and colleagues of Mr. Patrick Kennedy, they would all agree that he mastered the art to teaching. He taught innovatively, with great passion for serving his students long term. He wanted them to succeed in his class, but more importantly wanted them to succeed for the rest of their lives. Mr. Kennedy believed all students had something unique to bring to the table and helped each student feel confident in themselves and their personality.

Many students will remember his perfectly matching shoe to shirt wardrobe, his love for converse, and his weekly shout-out video to the students and staff of Andover Central. His spunky personality, creativity, and sense of humor will forever be remembered.

We asked students and staff to share their fondest memories of Mr. Kennedy.

“My favorite memory was when he did a full scene from the princess bride with me in eighth grade because my partner didn’t show up that day. Also, him saying hi to me every single day brightened my day in the high school halls.” – Mia Kitselman, senior

“I had the privilege for seeing Mr. Kennedy in the halls for 3 years of middle school, and this past year in high school. I wouldn’t want to say ‘hey’ by just throwing up a peace sign up to any other teacher. He always had us belly laughing in class no matter what kind of day it was. His attitude, personality, love of converse, and support will be greatly missed among all of us students.” – Ally Harris, junior

“Mr. Kennedy had such a huge impact on how I grew into who I am today. I had him for seventh, eighth, and ninth grade English along with basketball and video productions in middle school. Although I do have many stories, he taught me one lesson that shapes who I am today. Going into seventh grade basketball, I was always timid to mess up on the court. I never had the drive to push my limits. After that season, all that changed. Coach K pushed me everyday to be better without explicitly saying it. He believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He helped me realize that mistakes are inevitable, but as long as you’re going [as] hard as you can it’s ok. For that, I am forever grateful. Thank you Coach K.” – Tanner Gawith, sophomore

“Mr. Kennedy was one of the most impactful teachers I’ve ever had. He was always there for me, even if I wasn’t in his class. He was super funny and good at what he did. I’m so glad I got the chance to get [to] know his as a person and a teacher.” – Gage Terrell, senior

“My favorite memory will always be his matching shoes and shirt. Whenever he got a new pair he would open up the office door. Hold up a foot, then do a little twirl to show me his outfit. Never say a word. Just a little nod and a half smile.” – Mrs. Klein

Mr. Kennedy shared a special bond with each person he encountered. His presence touched the lives of hundreds of students and staff at Andover Central, where his legacy will be remembered for years to come. Shout-out to you, Mr. Patrick Kennedy. Jag nation loves and misses you so much.