The iconic teacher duos throughout FHC


Sultini (left) and Fisher (right) from many years ago to current day

With most students, almost every ounce of time spent between the months of late August to early June is spent at FHC from early in the morning until late in the afternoon causing us to become close with our peers and eventually find our inner circle and the people we call our best friends.

However, some forget about the adults that also spend 90% of their free time in the FHC building surrounded by other teachers alike, therefore, they find themselves in clicks and friendships just like the students around them. Maybe staff and students aren’t so different than one might think.

One friendship bond that’s widely known around the FHCs building is FX teacher Jeff Manders and English/history teacher Steve Labenz.

“I was his student teacher back in the spring semester of 2010,” said Manders. “That’s how I met him and we would talk, and we started having lunch together and it went from there.”

From 2010 to 2023, the friendship between this pair has only continued to blossom and flourish throughout the time they have spent working together side by side.

“We like each other because we’re so similar,” said Labenz. “We both have a broadcasting background, and we both started teaching later. I think we have a lot of qualities that are the same. I’m thinking next year will be my last year, and I feel sad that I won’t have someone to sit with, in the morning, and have coffee with, and it’s weird when you lose people who you have known in this school for so long.”

With Labenz’s time at FHC coming to an end, his friendship has made a forever-lasting impact on Manders and the caring attitude Labenz has brought forth to the school.

“I like how much he cares,” said Manders. “ He truly cares about his students and his friends and family. I was complaining about the razor I was using and he got me this razor that he uses, and I love it. He remembers the little things.”

However, Manders and Labenz are not the only friendship that has grown exponentially from their time at FHC. ASL teacher Kimberly Anderson and English teacher Lisa Penninga are all too familiar with the feeling of working alongside a best friend.

“I really didn’t have anybody, and I was one of the youngest ones and still am, so I felt like I didn’t really connect with anybody, but then I met Penninga,” said Anderson. “Our friendship has evolved where I can ask her personal things about our lives and our passions too, and how we want to work towards being better [to] ourselves, so I like to think we kind of help each other out.”

To no surprise, Penninga shares the same ideas and feelings Anderson expresses about their uncanny friendship.

“She’s really honest and lets me know if she disagrees with something I’ve said in a nice way, but I like that,” said Penninga.

Anderson and Penninga’s key to a healthy friendship is showing kindness while also keeping a bit of healthy humor and teasing into the mix.

“When I found out she was dating Mr.Anderson, I thought it was so shocking and funny,” Penninga said.

Straying away from the more sentimental friendships, we are left with English teacher Anthony Sultini and English teacher Jonathan Fisher.

This duo is undoubtedly the comic relief at FHC and never fails to put a smile on each other’s faces with their sarcasm and teasing towards one another.

“We have known each other 50 years actually,” said Fisher. “We actually knew each other in a prior life. We used to teach next to each other in a tiny little classroom right next to the cafeteria, and back when I had a goatee and I was a little lighter, people would come up to me and be like ‘Coach Sultini,’ and I’d be like ‘No, you’re talking to the wrong person.’”

Although mistaken for being brothers quite often, they do have a brother-like bond while going back and forth with playful banter.

“My favorite quality of Sultini is his eyes for sure,” said Fisher. “They’re just so dreamy I can get lost.”

Even though these two are notorious for their playful banter, there are those rare moments that show off just how much the two deeply care for each other.

“My dad had passed away, and the service was two and a half hours across the state, and right before the service started, he wheels in,” Sultini said. “I’m like ‘Holy crap, he made that trip for me and was there for me.’ I like how not afraid he is to tell things like it is, even if the answer sucks, he’s willing to give it”

Students and staff alike all have one thing in common: the bonds this small school in Michigan has created are forever going to have an everlasting impact on the people of FHC.”

Students and staff alike all have one thing in common: the bonds this small school in Michigan has created are forever going to have an everlasting impact on the people of FHC.

“You don’t need a lot of really good friends, the quality is more important than quantity,” Penninga said.