Connection: Marcy McCormick and Courtney Kiley

Connection: Marcy McCormick and Courtney Kiley

Marcy McCormick and Courtney Kiley became inseparable after their first encounter during an interview. Their uniqueness has united them in ways both inside and outside of the classroom.
Marcy McCormick
Marcy McCormick

Being able to find her place in a department full of faculty that supports Marcy McCormick for everything that she is, is something she is forever grateful for. One of her biggest supporters being Courtney Kiley, CHS science teacher and forum leader. 


Courtney was a part of Marcy’s interview at CHS when she first applied for the job in 2012. During this interview, she came to find out that both of them went through the same masters program at the University of Michigan. Marcy knew right away that they would be on the same ‘wavelength’. 


In 2014, when the two were together in Colorado at a National Science Teachers conference, they came to discover a strange commonality. 


“I remember we were walking when this really bizarre thing happened,” Marcy said. “A street light went out [as we walked by it], and I noticed it, and I noticed that she noticed it.”


Later on, the two discovered that they are both a part of a group called the “Streetlight Interference Receptors” which is a community of people that claim to have the ability to turn off street lights. Although Marcy knows that there is no “scientific basis” behind this group and no “logical reasoning” behind that ability, having this in common with Kiley is something that bonded the two. 


Along with bonding over their uniqueness. Courtney has also helped Marcy transition to a new teaching style at CHS. Coming from a district where things were done much differently than at CHS has taken time to get used to.  


“[She reminds me] not to take things too seriously,” Marcy said. “It  took me a little time to transition because I was so used to working in a very different environment. It was a reminder that education really needs to be about the enjoyment of learning and that is at the heart, so important. You’re not going to want to learn something that you don’t enjoy or be in an environment where you’re not enjoying what you’re doing.” 


At CHS, Marcy has tried to take this new approach of making learning more enjoyable for her students by incorporating activities into class everyday. Marcy often starts her classes with conversations about how students are doing and encourages them to share things about themselves with the group. Along with starting class a certain way each day, she also celebrates Mole Day with all of her classes and often does events with her students before holiday breaks. 


“[I will always encourage my students to] do their best but I also try to connect with them and let them know that I’m here and that I care about them,” Marcy said. “But also that we’re going to have fun as well.”


Outside of school, Marcy and Courtney have also connected through the time that their families spend together and the dedication they both have to their own kids.  Since their kids are similar in age, they often do activities together and spend time as two families. 


Marcy also remembers a trip with Kiley to the Biostation in Northern Michigan with the Ecology Club a few years ago. 


“We went outside of our cabins one night by this small lake, and it was frozen over,” Marcy said. “We all went outside because someone heard an unusual noise and the ice on the lake was sort of like just moving slightly and it was making this crazy humming noise across the lake. And in that moment where we all just were under the stars, a perfectly clear night, listening to this crazy noise was an incredible thing to be able to experience with my colleagues and students.” 


Marcy is grateful for connections that she has made with Courtney and the FOS department at CHS. She believes that her teaching style and the success of her classroom environment stems from supportive colleagues. 


“I think I’ve told [Courtney], but I hope she knows just how grateful I am to have her here,” Marcy said. 

Courtney Kiley
Courtney Kiley

Being able to count on someone in any season of life is something that Courtney Kiley looks for in a friend. This trait is something that she saw right away in Marcy McCormick, her best friend. 


After the two met during Marcy’s CHS interview, they became inseparable. 


“I’ve known her for so long,” Courtney said. “I’m growing up with her and when we hired her, I told her, I was like, ‘I’m gonna grow old with you. Like in our workplace, but then as friends.’” 


The two have recently started playing volleyball together, on a team full of CHS faculty and staff. They play games each week and have been able to spend time with one and another outside of school doing physical activity, one of their favorite things to do together. 


Courtney has also learned from Marcy’s teaching style. Due to the fact that Marcy is now the head of  all FOS 2 and FOS 3 classes at CHS, Kiley has been able to benefit from Marcy’s expertise and organization. 


“[Marcy’s] graphics are like none other,” Courtney said. “She is much more coherent. I am spastic and all over the place and she is not. I think though, we both really love the FOS department because of its project based kind of hands on discovery nature. So in that way, we had the same teaching philosophy, but I think we’re probably different in the classroom and she’s way more put together than I am. And she smells really good.”


Along with being able to bring a sense or organization to her classroom, Courtney also believes that Marcy is able to incorporate current events into her lessons, which keeps students engaged. Other FOS teachers within the department have been able to follow Marcy’s lead which is something that Courtney is proud of her for. 


The two’s relationship revolves around fun. They spend their time together trying to make the best out of every situation. 


“We just have a ton of fun,” Courtney said. “I mean we laugh so much inside and outside of school or anytime we’re together. She’s really funny. She’s totally quirky. And I love that.”


Their bond grew after the two trained for a half marathon together. They would spend long hours going for runs together building up the endurance to be able to conquer 13.1 miles. 


“[Crossing the line with her] was the best, just so good,” Courtney said. “I think it’s fun to train for something that is a hard thing to do and to cross the finish line holding hands and struggling together was amazing.” 


Courtney is so grateful for the years of connection that have brought her and Marcy together. 


“I don’t think I tell her enough what a great mom I think she is to her kids,” Courtney said. “She and her partner have done an amazing job raising their kids. I think I show a lot of my love by making fun of people and the more I make fun of you will probably mean the more that I love you. And I just respect her and love her so much. She stands up for what she thinks is right. And always stays true to her convictions.” 


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Ailish Kilbride, Web Editor-in-Chief
While trying to pack as many things as she possibly can in her schedule, Ailish Kilbride is entering her 7th semester on staff and her 4th semester in leadership. Ailish is a senior at Community High School. Taking long runs, walking her dog Lulu, playing field hockey at all hours of the day, reading Colleen Hoover books and hanging out with her friends and family are all at the top of her list of favorite things. She can’t wait to be a part of all of the amazing work that the Communicator is going to do this year.

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