Mia is in 11th grade, and this is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys reading. She is a big Marvel fan.
A Deep Dive into Science
March 13, 2023
Science teacher Walter Chaney has gotten to know a lot of FCHS students since he joined Fluvanna. Teaching, Oceanography, Environmental Science, and Earth Science, he appears to bring a passion for science that is infectious.
Chaney grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia, along the Ohio River. He later attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, then moved onto The University of Virginia where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Science and a Masters of Education with a concentration in Biology. He has a wife, a son in the Navy, and a daughter who loves to play softball.
Before Chaney became a teacher he wanted to be a professional baseball player, although he changed his mind one summer when he worked at a minority swimming pool where he taught kids to swim.
“I realized young people need somebody,” he said. “The moment when one young 10-year-old boy approached me in public and said, ‘Mom, Mom, this is the guy that taught me to swim’ gave me a sense of satisfaction that I had never experienced before,” he added. Chaney was a teacher at Albemarle County High School before he came to FCHS.
In his free time, Chaney loves to spend time with his wife Cherie, and take care of his dog, Ronald, and his horse Sadie. He also enjoys sailing his daysailer, which he’s named the “Miss American Rambler,” on the Chesapeake Bay. His 17-foot Newport has an eight horsepower motor he and his wife like to sail around the wider parts of New York. He also enjoys mountain biking and fish flying in the mountains, and makes time to play his guitar while singing country music, though he says he’d never sing in public.
Chaney has been teaching for 32 years. That may seem like a long time, but to Chaney, it’s all been in good fun. He said that having his fair share of “awful” teachers while he was in school, he wanted to be “one of the good ones” and be there for his students and get them to have fun.
One of his favorite things about teaching is talking to his students. “Interactions with students are the best; they crack me up,” he said. This relationship with students can last many years. “I received a letter from a student that I had years before that still remembers me and says thank you for being there to help,” he said.
While Chaney loves his students, he does face some hardships in the classroom. He says that cell phones have become a major distraction when students should be using the time to learn. They become distracted with Snapchat, Tik Tok and other social media platforms.
“It’s harder and harder to generate excitement and the love of learning,” he said. Chaney said he believes that cellphones are making students generate unnecessary anger and psychological instability, and that students’ exposure to mass and instant communication has created an environment of anxiety and hopelessness. “Too many kids feel alone and seemingly depressed,” he said.