HMS Teacher Dale Mackley Retires After 26 Years

Iliana Veguilla, Reporter

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After 26 and a half years of teaching, he is finally ready to retire.

Hershey Middle School teacher Dale Mackley has had many different occupations and interests throughout his working career.  Mackley went into teaching after ten years of working in the snack food industry, a decision he did not regret.

He graduated from Manheim Central High School, and then continued his education at Millersville University, where he graduated with an undergraduate degree in Geography.

Mackley was initially interested in being a sports statistician in high school, but according to him “it didn’t work out.” He became interested in the field of cartography and possibly urban planning. This is why he decided to major in Geography at Millersville.

Since “jobs were hard to come by,” he ended up in the snack food business. He stayed in the business for ten years, until he became tired of it. After that, he found his interest for teaching, specifically geography.

“I then worked for about ten years, then went back to Millersville and took classes to earn my Social Studies Education certification,” said Mackley.

Within his first year, Mackley taught 9th grade American Cultures at Hershey High School (HHS), but relocated to the middle school during that same year, 1991.

“I enjoy teaching the students [seventh graders] social studies – teaching them why they play such an important role in our society,” said Mackley.

Mackley’s favorite subject to teach is World Geography, especially the Eastern Hemisphere.

“Our students do not get enough exposure to the different cultures of the world, especially the Eastern Hemisphere. I like the diversity of the social studies disciplines, as well as the skills and concepts, that we can weave into the geography class taught to the students in seventh grade,” said Mackley.

Even though Mackley’s passion is teaching, his favorite part about about teaching are his students, “Anytime someone asks me what grade I teach, they usually roll their eyes when I say seventh grade, but I love the age group, [there is] never a dull moment, and you never know what is going to come out of their mouths,” said Mackley.

After retiring, Mackley will take away many individual student memories, but one memory that will stand out for him is the trip to Sandy Hill. In this trip, the staff of HMS took nearly 400 students and adult chaperones to the Chesapeake Bay for three days and two nights.

“It was an experience that many students -and adults for that matter- probably would never have experienced. Camping in the woods, on the edge of the Bay, [and] learning about the environment and culture of the region was such a great experience for the students,” said Mackley.

During his retirement, Mackley will be spending time with his family; keeping busy by working around his yard, fishing, golfing, camping, reading, cooking, watching sports. Mackley will also spend his time attending Penn State wrestling and football matches and games, as he has season tickets.