Credit: Kate Balicki

History department head Kevin Delaney prepares for class at his desk. Delaney’s upbringing largely contributed to his passion for history. “I’ve always liked working with young people,” Delaney said.

Who is Mr. Delaney?

On a daily basis, Kevin Delaney juggles the many responsibilities that come with being a department head. Delaney is vital to the system that helps the history department at WHS work, but few know that Delaney credits his love of history to his upbringing.

“I’ve always loved history, even going way back when I was a kid my dad was kind of a history geek, and we were always going to museums and places in Concord like the North Bridge and then it just was always something that I loved,” Delaney said.

Delaney doesn’t only credit his father for his highly acclaimed teaching style. Growing up, playing with his siblings gave him the skills he needed to interact with young people in engaging ways.

“One day, we would just pummel each other in fights and the next day we would get up and be best friends again, and go play frisbee or whiffle ball or something,” Delaney said. “So, I guess that it’s developed an aspect of my personality, I suppose, in which I think I can readily relate to young people and…understand where they’re coming from.”

It wasn’t until his junior year of college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that Delaney found a future career in which he could use the life skills he obtained with the help of his family. Almost accidentally, Delaney’s passion for history found him through the classes that he took.

“I just kept taking history classes because they were the most interesting things that I found in [the] program, and by junior year I just kind of was a history major,” Delaney said.

As a part of Delaney’s liking toward history related topics, he worked in historical restoration before becoming a history teacher, and he still makes furniture to this day. Although he always had an interest in history, he once thought he would take a carpentry-related approach to it.

“Before I became a teacher, I did get certified as an undergraduate, but I worked in carpentry for a few years and historical restoration,” Delaney said. “[My parents] have an old farm in Sherborn, and I have a [furniture making shop] in there that I’ve built over the past thirty years. So, I do a lot of that, I make and design furniture, from scratch too, finished products.”

Ultimately, Delaney decided that teaching was the right career for him, and he doesn’t regret the decision. According to Delaney, teaching high school history is a job he learns from and finds rewarding.

“I’ve always liked working with young people,” Delaney said. “I come from a big family, so I’ve just kind of been a social creature for a while, really from the get-go, I guess. I like [the] discourse and the back and forth between young adults who are passionate and who view the world in a very idealistic and hopeful way, and who can discuss complicated ideas in a deep way.”

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