Kayser, Matthew
Greeting! My name is Matthew Kayser. I am a Social Studies teacher here at HCAM. I joined the HCAM family in January 2020. I was asked to compose a bio, so I decided to do it in the form of an interview. I hope you enjoy it.

I currently teach Honors Sociology and Honors Psychology at HCAM.

It is my absolute pleasure to be teaching at HCAM. After fifteen years of teaching in NYC and Chicago, I have finally found a home. 

Why do I feel this way? For starters, I am genuinely excited about what is happening within HPS, and specifically at HCAM. The school’s focus on the arts and a vast array of career paths is something I’ve always encouraged among my students. As someone who has always tried to foster the social, emotional, and academic growth of my students, I also appreciate HCAM’s holistic approach to education.   In addition to teaching two fascinating subjects, I’ve been overwhelmed by the warmth, respect, and intellectual curiosity shown by my students. They continually wow me with their positive attitudes and willingness to dive into the material and our discussions. Their warmth and welcoming spirit has been matched by Mr. Puryear and the rest of the HCAM staff. They truly know how to make the new guy feel like he belongs, and I’m sincerely grateful to them for it. Finally, the area in and around Hickory is absolutely beautiful, and is exactly the type of physical environment I’ve been seeking for me and my family.
WHY ARE YOU A TEACHER? I feel fortunate to be a high school Social Studies teacher because I love working with young people and I am fascinated by the people, events, and ideas of the past and present. Teaching classes like the ones I am teaching this semester is the perfect fit for me because I get to positively influence teens while examining how humans and society work. I find all of it so incredibly interesting. WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING BACKGROUND? Most of my teaching experience has been in U.S. History and World History, but I am extremely excited to dive into classes such as Psychology and Sociology. I have already seen my passion for these upper level classes rival what I’ve traditionally felt for courses such as U.S. and World History. I earned my B.A. in History and my M.Ed in Secondary Social Studies from Milligan College, located in northeast Tennessee. Johnson City, TN was home to me and my wife for a decade during and after our time at Milligan.  I am originally from Sound Beach, New York, a small town on Long Island that is a little less than one hour east of New York City. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT TEACHING? I enjoy watching baseball (let's go, Mets!), writing and listening to music, and freelance writing. The apples of my eye, though, are my angel of a wife and my four kids, ages 18, 16, 12, and 2. I hope you'll meet them sometime soon.