Brolley and Pecherek: Two must-have teachers


Kyle Russell

Inspiring teachers Vincent Brolley (top) and Michael Pecherek (bottom), are captured in their natural school settings; Brolley has an in-deph, laid-back conversation with a student, and Pecherek sits comfortably at the piano, playing a piece of his own composition.


Kyle Russell

Throughout our lifetime, we will come across many “good” and “bad” teachers in the educational setting. Rarely, or maybe even never, will we encounter instructors that truly change our lives. Amazingly, I had the privilege of getting two of these unique professors during my fall 2014 semester at IVCC; Vincent Brolley and Michael Pecherek.

When I decided to take the human sexuality and music appreciation courses, I had no idea that these two areas of study, which in the beginning, I did not have a strong interest for, could end up impacting my life in such significant ways.

Each one of these men had very distinct qualities about their personalities which made them not only likeable people, but also effective instructors.

Mr. Brolley, my human sexuality teacher, always had a sincere energy around him which was obvious when he spoke. It was as if I could see the compassion within him flowing out to the students in the room, especially when he lectured about highly sensitive subjects.

Witnessing this eventually made me want to improve my own sincerity regarding other people’s feelings. My teacher managed to create such a comfortable environment with his charisma, that we had wonderful classroom discussions about topics that would normally feel “too awkward” in a typical setting. I can even remember a few times that he mixed in humor with his lectures, which could be quite hysterical depending on the topic we were discussing that day.

My human sexuality instructor made the course so enjoyable for me that when I missed a day of school due to illness, I actually felt really bad about it because I was concerned about Mr. Brolley possibly thinking that I had neglected his class and also because I missed another opportunity to be around his powerfully positive presence.

My teacher was not limited to simply being a person who stood up and lectured about his course. Mr. Brolley was the kind of guy you could trust enough to seek advice from after class.

What stood out to me about my music appreciation instructor, Mr. Pecherek, was his intellectual thinking.

Hearing him preach his music knowledge was interesting to me because he would challenge us to find deeper meanings from the music than what could only be seen on the surface, however, he always made a point to not plant any ideas into our minds: he encouraged us to form our own opinions.

Not only did my instructor have a deep basis of knowledge about music, but he also knew a great deal of facts about history.
Eventually, I realized he was much more than just a music teacher. After every piece of music we listened to, he would go around the room and have each student describe what the music made them think and feel.

The majority of my contributive reactions to each work of music seemed to astound Mr. Pecherek and the other students in the class, which I later found out was due to my unique imagination that I did not know I had until my instructor challenged me to use it. Discovering this talent eventually led to me writing more intellectual columns for the IV Leader and also to the beginning of the fictional novel that I am currently writing.

Not only do I try to include deep thinking into my writing and overall lifestyle (thanks to Mr. Pecherek’s influence), but I also make sure I always attempt to display and maintain a form of sensitivity within my work and actions (credited to Mr. Brolley’s impact). Please do not get me wrong, I am not trying to imply that these two are the only good instructors I’ve ever had. I have simply reached a point in my life where I am able to more frequently see and appreciate the special gifts in life, such as having two life-changing instructors in the same semester.

I truly hope that IVCC has/will show the proper gratitude to Vincent Brolley and Michael Pecherek, not only for being effective instructors, but also for being good people.

And to my former instructors, I just want to say thank you for everything. You too did more for me than you probably realized. Taking your courses truly changed me for the better.

I hope you both continue to impact student’s lives the way you have impacted mine and I wish for you guys to receive the same happiness you have given others throughout your lifetime.