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What’s in a Name? Lots of Potential Jokes & Confusion

Even though Woodlynde School is small, many students and teachers still share the same or similar last names, causing confusion, mistaken emails and even occasional jokes.
By AJ Gerardi
Assistant Editor
Due to their similar last names, many students compare junior Jason Swinney with Math teacher Mr. Sweeney.

When asked if he was bothered by this, Mr. Sweeney said, “I don’t mind [the jokes] but it can get confusing.”    

     He went on to joke: “One class, me and Jason got so confused that he started teaching class and I took notes.”

     Even though Woodlynde School is small, many students and teachers still share the same or similar last names, causing confusion, mistaken emails and even occasional jokes.

In fact, there are 55 students and teachers who have the same last name as someone else in the building. Some names are more common than others. For example, there are five Smiths at Woodlynde (Upper School teachers
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Custodian Jackie Smith, and students Jared and Emma Smith).
                   I’M THE SMITH

, who is a junior, loves to mess with History teacher Mr. Smith about having the same last name. In an interview with the Informer, Jared joked, “I hate when people are in Mr. Smith’s class and they say he’s not here, because I am there. It’s hurtful.”

When asked about this, Mr. Smith simply said, “I’m
the Smith. He’s a Smith,” before walking out of the room.

Sometimes, two teachers having the same last name can be confusing when it comes to sending emails.

Students are certainly having trouble telling the difference between newly married
Mr. Jake Tischler and Mrs. April Tischler when their names appear on Microsoft Outlook.

Mrs. Tischler, who works as a Middle School Learning Specialist, said, “I really hope that Mr. Tischler [who teaches math] gets to see how hard and crazy my job is based on some of these emails he has gotten [that are meant for] me.”

Mrs. Smith
, who changed her name last summer from Ms. Tallman because she got married, hasn’t had any problems with miscommunication through emails.

“Surprisingly, no. Not once,” the ninth grade Learning Specialist said, when asked whether people had ever accidently sent her an email meant for Mr. Smith.

Mr. and Mrs. Shank have been receiving each other's emails for years.

“It’s not an issue, but we do, sometimes,” Mrs. Shank said in an interview with the
Informer. “I get his and he gets mine [six or seven times a year]. Sometimes we aren’t sure who's supposed to get the email.”

She went on to say, “I vaguely remember a time when [I was talking to Mr. Shank and I said,] ‘Gosh, I haven't heard back from this person,’ and he said, ‘Oh, I got that email.’”

Mr. Shank said it’s no big deal when he receives an email meant for his wife. “I just forward the email to Mrs. Shank. It takes very little time.”

Because of all the confusion with emails, a system was put into place to better identify whom the email address is to.

For example, since Mr. Smith began working at Woodlynde first, his school email is
Smith@woodlynde.org. Mrs. Smith, who only recently adopted the last name of Smith, also has the first letter of her first name: SmithB@woodlynde.org.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t help Mr. and Mrs. Shank, who both have the same first letter of their first name, “D” — for Dave and Dorinda.

Their emails read
Shank@woodlynde.org for Mr. Shank, and ShankD@woodlynde.org for Mrs. Shank, in case you were wondering.

Woodlynde School

445 Upper Gulph Road, Strafford, PA 19087-5498
Tel: 610.687.9660 
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in Grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language-or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.