Herald-Mail Forums

September 03, 2007

Last week's question:

School just began again for districts in the Tri-State area. Which teacher made the most positive impact on your life?

· Ronald Young was my Vo-Tech teacher for data processing in 1971-72. I can't begin to describe the long lasting influence he had on my life and career.

He was an excellent teacher who always encouraged you to do your best, to think through problems and to respect others.

He emphasized that we were preparing for the workplace, and gave many real-life examples of his career. He was not too proud to tell us of his mistakes, either.


There were many, many times over the course of my career in IT that I remembered what he had taught me. He instilled me with the confidence that I did have something to offer an employer. At least for this student, he took a 16 year old snot-brat and two years later released me to the working world, where I enjoyed success and achievement. Thank you, Mr. Young!

· Jean Blickenstaff. She was an excellent Sunday school teacher, and she taught me how to sing harmony. I used to "stay for church" after Sunday school, just so I could sit with her and watch her play the organ. I'm so glad I got to thank her a few years ago, because she is gone now. But she made a forever impact on me.

· Edith Shaffer. She truly cared about the girls in her class. She gave countless hours helping withevery Christmas, Easter, Vacation Bible School program that there was. And a generation of girls in Boonsboro are better people today because of her.

·Trudy Schindel, who taught senior English. I was scared to death of her. I heard from everyone how tough she was. With the bun on the back of her head and a Katherine Hepburn attitude, I knew that I was going to have to work hard for this terrible taskmaster. But as she sat on the edge of her desk talking about "Willie" Shakespeare as if he were an old friend, my fear turned into respect, then love.

I was proud to call her my friend after graduation. The bell tolled for her far too soon.

· Phil Wilkes, Boonsboro Senior High School High-Stepping Marching Band. That's what they called us. When we stood in the end zone waiting for the clock to run down, we prepared to march 8 to 5 with our thighs parallel to the ground.

Dressed in blue and white with touches of red, we marched onto the field to the cheers of a hometown Warrior crowd. Under Mr. Wilkes' direction, our band performed seemingly countless halftime shows and parades. And although many years have gone by, I can still remember my part in Robinson's Grand Entry and Cyrus the Great. Thanks for all the hard work - and all I learned!

· Jim Moore, teacher and principal. I was a brand new, fresh-out-of college teacher and he gave me room to grow, constructive criticism and gradually increasing responsibility. Because of his mentoring, my confidence gradually increased. Now I've been teaching for 26 years. Having a good principal to start out with made all the difference for me.

· Yeah, Phil Wilkes was a great guy. He pushed you to the limit and he had a great group of kids to show for it. I regret that he left high school before I graduated, but I'm honored to have known him for that little time I did.

· While we're on the Boonsboro High kick here (I also was taught by Trudy Schindel and Phil Wilkes!) about George Schamel? Was there ever a more demanding science teacher? And weren't all of us who were taught by him that much more prepared for college coursework and then the "real" world because of his exacting standards?

· Mrs. Jean Keyser, Pangborn Elementary School teacher. She taught us to read and write. Thankfully she is still living and very active in her church at 85 years young.

· My first grade teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Lillard.

· My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Stiles. When we had reading tests at the end of each unit, she sat us in descending order according to our scores. You couldn't do that today, but I studied really hard to try to get that first seat and the privileges that went with it. (Like taking the lunch count down to the office...) There were separate tests for each reading group, so there were three "winners."

· I loved my history teacher, Mr. Bailey. He taught at Hancock High School and I believe he is still there. I never saw him upset at anything, he was not only a great teacher but he showed me how to deal with life's problems. I cannot remember ever walking into his class without him smiling and ready to teach as if it were his first day.


Due to an error by the editorial page editor, a post in the Aug. 27 Herald-Mail Forums stated that Discovery Station has not submitted a business plan to the Washington County Commissioners.

The previous board of commissioners asked to see the plan and it was submitted last July.

The Herald-Mail apologizes for the error.

This week's question:

How much do you spend for gasoline each week and what have you done to reduce your costs and the amount of fuel that you use?

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