WA disbands Unicycle Club

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WA disbands Unicycle Club

One of the puzzle pieces outside the cafeteria portraying the unicycle club, an important part of WAs' history.

One of the puzzle pieces outside the cafeteria portraying the unicycle club, an important part of WAs' history.

Sara Zukowsky

One of the puzzle pieces outside the cafeteria portraying the unicycle club, an important part of WAs' history.

Sara Zukowsky

Sara Zukowsky

One of the puzzle pieces outside the cafeteria portraying the unicycle club, an important part of WAs' history.

Sara Zukowsky, Staff Writer

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The Unicycle Club has been running at Westford Academy since 2007, but will not be running for the 2019-2020 school year due to budget cuts and a lack of interest.

After history teacher John Wysokowski transferred to Bedford High School, Westford Academy was left without an advisor for the club. Math teacher Brian Scanlan decided to continue the club and volunteered to advise it with physics teacher Tim Burns. 

“When [the students] learned that Mr. Wysokowski wasn’t returning they didn’t know what to do. That’s when I volunteered to help out and advise the unicycle club because otherwise, it would have had to be disbanded,” Scanlan said.

Meeting weekly, the club would typically have had ten to twelve constant members who would help helped the less experienced unicyclists during the meetings.A typical meeting included teaching newer unicyclists how to ride in the cafeteria, using the walls for support. Older club members would set up obstacle courses or come up with interactive ways to help newer members enjoy their time. Whether it be juggling, playing a musical instrument, or jumping up the cafeteria stairs, the unicycle club tried to make meetings interactive and enjoyable.

“The club was a pilot for a year. They realized that there’s a lot of students in this community who are interested in participating in this club and the initial response was that it is unique. Not many schools have a unicycle club, and that is one of the distinguishing features of Westford Academy. It has very unique clubs and organizations that students may participate in,” said Scanlan.

Students could watch videos of Unicon, an international unicycle competition, to learn and attempt tricks. Students also raced each other both through the obstacle courses and around the cafeteria.

The termination of the club came as soon as students began to lack interest in the club.

“I was disappointed initially [about the termination], but I understand. The resources provided to the district need to be managed a certain way and that needs to be justified. If some of that money can be used in a different place where the positive impact on the students is greater than the positive impact on the unicycle club then certain people need to make decisions, and I believe those decisions were made,” Scanlan said.

According to Scanlan, the students in the club were disappointed but understood the termination. Feeling optimistic for the future, Scanlan won’t give up hopes for the club.

“The potential for the unicycle club to be meeting again depends on the interest. So, if the interest is greater than it was in the fall, then maybe the club can run again, but with administration approval,” Scanlan said.