A Mr. Powers Send Off

Stella Schultz, Journalist

You may have seen him teaching classes in the arts wing of the school, playing chess with students during r-block, or even on Monday nights in the back of Mr. Gallant’s room, head buried in administrative work for the school robotics team.

Who, you may ask? Well, that’s easy.

Acting as the school robotics, engineering, and 3D printing teacher by day and the robotics team head mentor by night, I am, of course, referring to Ethan Powers.

Mr. Powers is highly lauded by his students and peers, but, unfortunately, his last day of school was on November 4. 

He joined the school only two years ago, but in his few years at IHS, he has made a profound impact on the community and students he taught. 

One of his most prominent ventures has been his work with the robotics team. 

On the team, Mr. Powers’ duties included attending weekly meetings and competitions as well as administrative tasks that students couldn’t complete. But it is clear upon closer inspection that his impact has gone much further than that.

Team co-captain Abi Dixon explained that Mr. Powers first joined the team amid a whirlwind of mentor turnover, stating, “He was the third coach that [the Team] had in the span of 2 years and the first coach when I was on the team that was actually involved with the school.” 

She was initially lukewarm about him joining the team, but now she and the rest of the team are immensely fond of him. 

“I’m really sad that he’s leaving. I feel that he was a really good fit for the team,” Abi voiced remorsefully. 

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Murphy

She continued by explaining, “He’s made an impact on all of the departments and really all of the individuals on the team by being very supportive… He definitely had the perfect balance of knowing when to step back and try to figure things out and knowing when to step in for the good of the team.”

The feeling of admiration between the team and Mr. Powers is mutual, as Mr. Powers asserted one of his favorite parts of the IHS experience was working with the team. 

In general, he expressed that albeit being excited about his new job, he will miss the school atmosphere. When asked what he would miss the most, he responded instantly by stating “I’ll miss the students, community, and teachers.”

It’s clear that his departure is bittersweet. Whilst he has to leave behind the community that he has carved a niche into during the past few years, at his new job, Mr. Powers will be able to pursue one of his biggest passions – engineering. 

Before working at IHS, Mr. Powers held down a job working as a mechanical engineer in New Hampshire. He graduated college with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2019 and applied his degree to his first job building UV backdrops, overspray collectors, and control cabinets. 

Unfortunately, after a year of working for the company, he was laid off during the pandemic because the company was running out of money.

Now, a few years and one significant career detour later, he is returning to his roots. 

After he leaves IHS, he will be working at Columbia Tech, a company that makes various machines, robots, and electronic equipment. He will be a manufacturing engineer, meaning his job is to control various parts of the manufacturing process such as setup, equipment, workflow, and any issues that occur.

This is a great opportunity for him, and he made sure to stress that he wouldn’t be leaving IHS if he didn’t think this was the right career step for him. After all, he has become a familiar face at school and his presence will be sincerely missed by his students, peers, and robotics team members alike.

One thing is certain, whether it’s creating intricate technology in an industry job or instructing a class of rowdy juniors on how to 3D print little rainbow boats in the school’s cramped CAD lab, we will all be rooting for Mr. Powers through his next ventures in life.

Before he left his engineering classroom for the last time, his parting words to us were filled with optimism and a promise: 

“Maybe I’ll come back to [teaching] someday.”