To the editor:
My name is Brandon Elliott, currently a senior at Free State, and I had the great opportunity to have Mr. Roth as my biology teacher. I was shocked when I was about to greet him on the first day of school, and I found another teacher in his room. I asked what the deal was and the rumor was that he was fired or that he quit. I feel this is a great loss to Free State High.
I had him in 1997, the inaugural year of our school. My first impression of him was that he was an old, grumpy man stuck in his ways and wasn't going to budge for anyone. It took me almost an entire semester of getting so-so grades on his difficult tests and seeing him hit kids with erasers for punishment for sleeping, to realize that he was actually a very cool guy. Yes, it did take a few talks with him one-on-one and a conference with him and my parents to get me to realize this.
Mr. Roth was a difficult teacher, I'll admit. You had to study really hard to get A's in his class. I was lucky enough to be able to do so. People just don't realize that the U.S. is actually kind of soft when it comes to pushing students to do the best they can. I know lots of friends that have the potential, but just don't care. Mr. Roth makes you care. I do like science. Biology is not my most favorite, but I still like it. I think I would have hated the class if it wasn't for having a cool teacher. The only reason I joined biology club last year was so I could hang out with Mr. Roth and go on field trips, since I didn't have the opportunity to have him as a teacher.
I just remember him telling us how long he's taught biology in Lawrence, about 40 years. He even said that he hopes to be able to teach our kids someday. Unfortunately Mr. Roth, it doesn't look like that will happen. You will be missed.