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John Myers Retires After 40 Years in the District

Hannah Lowe, Editor-in-Chief

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When John Myers began his freshman year at Gettysburg College, he thought he wanted to be a lawyer. Little did he know, however, law school wasn’t in the cards for him. Instead, John “Oscar” Myers — known to students at Cape as Mr. Myers — graduated with a history degree, earned his Masters in Education and certificate in counseling from Villanova University, and then began a career in the Cape Henlopen School District that would last four decades.

Mr. Myers has spent his 40 years in the Cape district at four different campuses. He was first hired as a counselor and social studies teacher at Rehoboth Junior High School. He quickly realized he preferred counseling to teaching, and spent the next decade as a counselor at Lewes Junior High before moving to the Ninth Grade Academy for one year. After the 1990-91 year at the academy, Mr. Myers transferred to the high school as a career counselor — and the rest, they say, is history.

As a career counselor, Mr. Myers has spent nearly thirty years guiding students towards productive futures post-graduation. “[Career counseling] is kind of like watching a flower blossom,” he said, “and that progression is very cool. A lot of my students come into their senior year without direction, and suddenly by working with them and their mentors, I get to take that progression with them.” His favorite part of his work is making personal connections with students, a goal he achieves through tireless work in the school community.

Outside his office, Mr. Myers has spent his time coaching “a little bit of everything.” “I did whatever the principal needed,” Mr Myers said, explaining his time spent coaching baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis for both boys and girls of various ages. In addition to coaching, Mr. Myers has advised numerous extracurricular groups, and he’s done his fair share of work with the band and theatre departments when his sons were involved with the performing arts.

“I didn’t have to do all this, but then again, why not?” He said. “The people that influenced me most in life were the ones who didn’t just teach. They were also coaches and directors of student governments, yearbooks, and newspapers.”

Out of all the things he’d done in his years in the Cape district, however, Mr. Myers is most proud of the “America’s Pride” team he founded at Lewes Junior High. During the Reagan administration, First Lady Nancy Reagan organized a nationwide movement called “America’s Pride” challenging schools to sponsor drug-free youth groups. Lewes’ group was called “Pirate Pride” and, unsurprisingly, Mr. Myers volunteered to advise it. Under his supervision, Pirate Pride became the most successful America’s Pride group in the state. They did presentations and workshops up and down Delaware and attended the National America’s Pride Conventions in Houston, Nashville, and Cincinnati. Once, they were presenters at the National Convention. “It was the most rewarding thing I ever did,” Mr. Myers said. “We would meet these families with serious issues, but for one moment, we could help them forget it. I still get chills thinking about it.”

Mr. Myers will certainly miss his students and his fellow counselors, which he calls “the counseling family,” but he’s looking forward to his retirement. He is very close with his family — including his wife of 40 years, four adult sons, and two-and-a-half year old granddaughter Harper — and anticipates spending more time with them. “It will be lovely to spend more time with my family,” he said, and explained he hopes to take them on trips in New England and the west. He also hopes to finally get his sailboat ready for the water and wants to “just do stuff!” around the house.

At the end of the day, Mr. Myers is thankful for his time at Cape, and the countless students he has helped as a counselor, coach, or advisor are deeply thankful for the guidance he has provided them. His final advice to students before he retires? “I’ve had a pretty great life, though we’ve had our ups and downs,” Mr. Myers said, “but every day is a blessing. You’ve got to look at it that way.”

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The student news site of Cape Henlopen High School
John Myers Retires After 40 Years in the District