Students and Staff Welcome Dr. Heisey Back to SPFHS


Thursday, October 27, 2022 marked the first day of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Principal Dr. David Heisey’s official return after taking a four-week leave to recover from a recent diagnosis.


On September 17, 2022, Dr. Heisey sent out an email to parents, students and the rest of the SPF community informing them of his leave of absence that began on September 19, 2022. In the email, Dr. Heisey stated that he would be undergoing surgery to treat prostate cancer during his time away, which allowed time for recovery before returning to his responsibilities as principal.


On the morning of his return, he was greeted with open arms by students and staff alike at SPFHS. Excitement buzzed through the hallways as SPF’s very own Moonglowers put on a performance by Door 12 while students found their way to their first block classrooms.


As Dr. Heisey joined the small crowd of students and teachers who had come to watch the jazz band perform, he was met with smiling faces of those who had come to greet him.


“I hope that he’s well…Everybody knows [Dr. Heisey], so everybody is excited that he’s back,” junior Rachel Lacerda said.


When asked about Dr. Heisey’s return to the school, math teacher Cynthia Prybella shared the impact he has on our school community and what it means to her.


“I’m really grateful that he’s back. I’m glad that he’s feeling well…there’s definitely a vibe that he gives off in the school. I felt it missing when he was gone,” Prybella said.


Prybella explained how certain things will go back to normal now that Dr. Heisey is back, and that he is the person she typically goes to for permission or to share ideas. Many other teachers in the building express similar feelings about Dr. Heisey’s presence in the school.

It was very moving to walk in and see the sign by the Main Office and the Moonglowers and then talking with staff and students. It’s like a family. [SPF] feels like a family to me.

— Dr. Heisey

During his five weeks away from school, Dr. Heisey had longed to return to his community and was eager to get back into the routine of coming to school.


“It was very moving to walk in and see the sign by the Main Office and the Moonglowers and then talking with staff and students. It’s like a family. [SPF] feels like a family to me,” Heisey said.


In addition to being able to interact with students and staff, Dr. Heisey missed being able to fulfill a crucial part of his job: being able to help people.


“It goes back to not the building itself, but the people within the building…and the people that I care for, the students and staff and everyone. I know that they care for me,” Heisey said. “I missed that interaction with adults. I missed the interaction with students. I didn’t have much of that at all.”


Dr. Heisey also shared the significance of his speedy recovery leaving him completely healthy with no cancer left in his body.


“I would be kind of like a poster child for men who should get checked for prostate cancer when they go for their physicals, because it’s a very common type of cancer…I was very lucky,” Heisey said.


Dr. Heisey expressed his gratitude for the SPF community for supporting him and showing the love and generosity that they carry for one another.