Thank You, Mr. Witchger


Avalon Wizard

To Mr. Witchger,

The Phoenix is made up of a dozen or so talented writers, editors, photographers, and graphic designers. Each student brings their own set of strengths. Whether it be an exceptional ability to express ones’ thoughts through words, or capture a thousand words in just one photograph, every one of the Phoenix staff has a unique talent.

Behind all the sports stories, opinion pieces, photo slide-shows, and comics is one man: Mr. Witchger. Our teacher, mentor, friend, and biggest supporter. As freshman and timid new Holy Family students, we looked up to the artsy, kind, intelligent, and encouraging Sacred Scripture teacher. Many of us joined Publication Design and the Phoenix staff our sophomore year.  We learned how to effectively write for an audience, express opinions, and summarize the most recent Holy Family sports win, all under the helpful and uplifting guidance of Mr. Witchger.

I think it is safe to say that the work of Mr. Witchger with the Phoenix can often times go unnoticed. As graduating seniors, and 2-3 year Phoenix staff members, we have seen the countless hours you put into helping this largely student-run newspaper thrive. Without your help in editing, organizing article assignments, advice, and support, the Phoenix would not be the successful school newspaper it is today.

The Holy Family community as a whole benefits from your dedication to the Phoenix, which informs parents, teachers, faculty, alumni, and students of all the recent accomplishments of HF students.

In conclusion, Mr. Witchger you will continue to serve as a role model for all of us for many years to come. Your passion for traveling, adventure, and helping others inspires us all. You helped transform each of us into young and empowered individuals, the best version of ourselves. You will be greatly missed by all of us.

Mr. Witchger, you have influenced each of us individually in so many ways, but there is one common theme. You taught us the importance of standing up for what we believe in and expressing our opinions even when they may not be the most popular.

And for that we are eternally grateful. Thank you.


The Seniors 🙂

Personal Thank-You Statements:

“I joined the Phoenix my senior year of high school. In only one year, Mr. Witchger’s open-mind and encouragement allowed me to have my own distinct voice within our school newspaper. I always got to choose the subjects I wrote about (sometimes controversial) and was consistently motivated by Witchger to pursue them with honesty. Because of the Phoenix, I have developed my ability to articulate my opinion, share my passions, and bring awareness to beautiful and impactful art in the world.” –Ronnie Deckard (Staff Writer)

“You have been and always will be one of the most helpful, enlightening, gifted, and influential individuals in my life. You gave me a chance, you gave others a voice, you let us partake in something larger than ourselves. I want to thank you for everything that you have done for me, the members of the Phoenix, and for the school community. A lot of it goes unnoticed, and that isn’t fair. You try your hardest, and you take on so much. Even in times of doubt and uncertainty, we knew that we could come to you for assistance. You are the reason my career path has changed, the reason I know more now than I did freshman year, the reason why I am Mark Haran. You are a teacher, a mentor, a role model, and most importantly, a friend of mine. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you for everything.” –Mark Haran (Chief Editor)

“Mr. Witchger is no doubt the most influential teacher I’ve had throughout my entire life. He helped me get into some of my more beneficial study habits, he has helped to mold my work ethic, and he has even inspired a little bit of my fashion sense. I don’t think I will ever have a teacher like him again and I don’t know what I’ll do without him. Thank you Mr. Witchger!” –Emmett Curran (Staff Comic)

“Mr. Witchger made me realize my love for music and he helped me step outside my comfort zone and share my love of music publicly. Also, he gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten from anywhere else. He’s possibly one of the best teachers I will ever have and I wish that every kid can have the pleasure of being taught or influenced by someone like Mr. Witchger.” –Nora Erdman (Music and Arts Editor)