Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — MIDDLEPORT — After spending four days at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, S.C., Royalton-Hartland Middle School Principal John Fisgus has a much better idea of what Marines do.
“To be honest with you, I kind of went in on this with what you see in the movies,” he said. “The first thing that came to my mind was Full Metal Jacket.”
Fisgus attended a Marine Corps Educator Workshop in April with 24 other teachers and administrators from the Buffalo area. He presented his experience to the Royalton-Hartland Board of Education at Wednesday night’s meeting.
The workshops, paid for by the Marine Corps, are meant to teach educators what the Marine Corps does, as opposed to the perceptions of what it does, Fisgus said. Teachers and administrators are then able to be a resource for students interested in joining the Marines, he said, noting that he’s not actively recruiting students.
“They want the top kids,” he said. “No drugs, no alcohol, no behavior issues. They don’t want kids that aren’t going to graduate. If you have a tattoo, you don’t qualify.”
Upon arrival at the camp on a Wednesday morning, the educators were treated like new recruits for three hours, Fisgus said. That included being yelled at by the drill instructors.
“I had such a headache and my voice was so hoarse,” he said. “It was unbelievable how inside that three hours, I was almost a changed person with following orders and doing what we were supposed to do.”
The educators were also able to participate in the physical activities that recruits take part in as part of their training, according to Fisgus.
“I tried everything,” he said.
Fisgus recommended the workshop to Roy-Hart board members, teachers and administrators.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” he said.