Mike taught English and Science to the 7th and 8th graders during the 1970's. A tribute to him in the 1973 yearbook reads:
"If there was a person that we all of us ever admired it was Mr. McDermott. Our seventh-grade Science and eighth-grade English teacher never stopped fighting for our rights. For example, he organized such things as the class reunion (See you all at Hecksher Park May 22, 1993.) ...[I]n the academic areas, Mr. McDermott, as part of our literature course permitted us to do such fantastic things as writing play scripts and radio shows which we produced and put on. He also, in addition to his teaching duties, was coordinator and co-director of the Drama Club...[H]is guitar playing ability fascinated us all. Mr. McDermott is really a great guy and teacher and we thank him for his friendship." - RG
(Editor's Note: Mike never showed for the 1993 reunion, although, he is threatening to come to the Holy Family 1977 reunion July 14, 2012 (Facebook for HF Reunion). Many of the class of 1973 did remember to go to Hecksher Park and had a very pleasant afternoon. So thanks to Mike for planning the day!)
We have recently been in touch with Mike and received the following note: "I looked at the old photographs on the St Patrick's Alumni site and it brought back fond memories of my former self. After leaving teaching, I worked in the Financial Services Business for Mutual of Omaha and Mass Mutual. My wife Joelle and I reside in Amherst, Ma. I am semi-working, not semi-retired as I call it since it makes me feel younger. Believe I will attend the reunion wearing my Mr. McDermott mask. Looking forward to seeing you and any other members of the St Pat's alumni. The Drama Club and working with Francine Rexer and Catherine MacDonald bring back a flood of memories." - MM
Mike's son Garth is a musician in Nashville. You can sample his music at GarthmichaelMcdermott.com. Those of us that had our first experience on the guitar with Mike are not surprised that Mike's son is a musician. He was an excellent guitar teacher as well as middle school teacher.
It's great to be in touch with Mike after so many years.
For those of you that noticed our newsletter photo, Mike did not grow up to be Jerry Garcia. We were unable to obtain a photo of Mike before our newsletter went to print.
Update: Mike did attend the Holy Family reunion in July 2013. Neil Brogan '73 was kind enough to send us the picture of Mike and Neil from the event.