Harwood Union High School
Andrew Reid, a.k.a Mr. Plaid, greeted us dressed in his bow tie and Highlander plaid cape. “Every year a faculty member is chosen to serve as Mr. Plaid,” Reid said as he posed for a variety of photographs. “The Mr. Plaid honor is awarded to a person who demonstrates significant school spirit. We are known as the Highlanders and thus, this is the Highlander’s plaid." My Mr. Plaid job includes wearing the cape every Friday throughout the school year. When I asked what other responsibilities are expected of Mr. Plaid, Reid sheepishly mentioned random acts of kindness. He didn’t wish to disclose what any of those acts might include as a way to protect his identity.
One of Reid’s passions, outside of teaching biology, human physiology and anatomy, is running. “I grew up playing outside regardless of the weather. In high school I became a member of the Mount Mansfield High’s indoor track and cross-country running teams.” And the running bug has stayed strong. “I do a race almost every Sunday, whether it is a 10K, a half marathon or the Vermont City Marathon. The toughest part of running is putting on one’s shoes,” Reid said. “My wife and I run together to keep each other motivated. She is often in the lead.”
“Andrew is a model of wellness and healthy activity in our school,” said Carly Brown, one of Reid’s colleagues. “He gets here early, coaches the cross-country and track teams after school and discloses his challenges and successes. Last fall he brought the cross country team to Belfast, Maine for a meet. After getting home from the trip at midnight, he got up early Sunday morning and ran the Leaf Peeper half marathon.”
“As part of the Rowland Steering Committee, Andrew shares his takeaways and advocates for staff wellness,” Brown said. “He uses humor to connect with colleagues during moments that are particularly stressful. He is known in our department and throughout the school as a person that is reliable and thoughtful.” Kristi McKnight, another colleague, added that Andrew is an amazing cross country and track coach. “He takes his time outside of the classroom to coach and mentor a large number of students.”
Reid is a seasoned teacher. He worked at Mill River Union High School for seven years before arriving at Harwood Union five years ago. “I was fortunate to have a great science teacher when I was a student. And because members of my family are educators. I grew up with an appreciation for all educators. Teachers are so isolated. I do my best to create a climate to positively support my colleagues.”
Reid is an active PATH participant. “I use a Garmin and love that it syncs with the PATH platform,” he said. “I used the LL Bean gift card I earned to purchase a championship jacket honoring our cross-country team’s win at Belfast, Maine last fall.