‘Be Golden’ Staff Award Winner: Cummins McNitt


The “Be Golden” award is a new faculty and staff recognition program at the high school.

This award is given weekly by a faculty/staff member to another faculty/staff member. Whoever receives the trophy on Friday is responsible for awarding it to someone else the following week. The only criteria is to give it to someone who has done something to make the school a better place.

“With the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative in our school, we want to not only recognize students for being golden but staff members as well,” said Shannon Davis, the award program coordinator. “This is a way to personally thank people we work with every day, but don’t always have the chance to show them how much they are appreciated.”    

Last week the award went to chemistry teacher and Golden Revolution adviser Michael Funicelli.

Mr. Funicelli chose to pass the award along to world geography, economics and driver’s ed teacher and YAN leader Mr. Cummins McNitt.

Mr Funicelli’s Quote:

“Mr. McNitt, you are an inspiration to the teachers, staff, and students of Tyrone Area High School.  The numbers do not lie. Last year alone, you spent approximately 3,500 hours of your time teaching, inspiring, motivating, and challenging the students in your classroom and on the roads.  Absent from that figure are the countless hours you dedicate to the Boy Scouts and Camp Anderson. Your dedication and drive, no pun intended, is a true gift to this school and everyone who knows you.  When I received this award you said, ‘No one deserves it more!’  Well, I disagree…you deserve it much more. Congratulations! ”

The Eagle Eye interviewed Mr. McNitt about being this week’s award winner:

Eagle Eye: What encouraged you to become a teacher?

Cummins McNitt: “My mother was also a teacher, but because of this I never thought I would become one. I saw the struggles she had and sometimes the heartbreak that can come with the job, and so I went in a different direction.  I worked in a multitude of different jobs over the past 40 years.  While my path took me away from teaching, I noticed that there was often a common link in my different jobs – working with others, especially young people.  When I started substitute teaching here (2005-2006) I got hooked – teaching got into my blood!”

EE: What do you enjoy most about being a teacher?

CM: “I love when the students walk through my door and I have an opportunity to spend the next 42 minutes with them.  My students teach me as much as I teach them, and probably more so!  They make me a better teacher and a better person.  They force me to think, evaluate, reevaluate, and experiment on a daily basis!  I hope that I can give them one-tenth the education and joy that they bring to me. “

EE: Is this your dream job? If not, what is?

CM: “You bet it is!  I didn’t start here until the age of 50 and I am now on my 12th year here at TASD.   The good Lord put me right where I was/am supposed to be.  If I have anything to say about it I’ll remain here until I retire, whenever that will be! “