Voices in the Nest: Mr. Tony Haakman

Based off of the popular interview series “Humans of New York,” Voices in the Nest features some real life stories from some real life Falcons.


Reese WIlliams

Mr. Haakman, MS Latin teacher, shares his story.

Reese Williams and Gavin Conner, Staff Writers

“Quite a few, I’ve had a lot of people influence me throughout the years. If I was to go back to someone who in terms of my career impacted me, I’d have to go back to one of my professors in college. He was one of the hardest, he challenged me, and he pushed me to be better.  He tapped into my competitive spirit, I always wanted to do better. 

“For example, he was one of the few professors who I could not get an A on his papers. I considered myself a very good writer and a good researcher, I considered that one of my expertise because that was my field of study. I was an archaeologist and he was an archeology professor and I could do well in all other classes and write beautiful papers and get A’s and he would always give me a B or a B+. He would write long notes of suggestions and I would continually try to look at his suggestions and I would push myself harder and try to do better and push myself in terms of analysis and data. I think it was finally my last year that I did a course with him and he finally gave me an A on a paper.

“He turned to me and said ‘now you’re ready to do research’ and I realized that I was all angry at him for this but in the end I realized how he was always just pushing me to strive to be better, to be a better person and to be a better writer. After that I went off to graduate school and we became very good friends after that. He was always following my career and I always appreciated that. I considered him not only a friend but also a mentor.”