Archive for Saturday, January 28, 2006

Students, colleagues recall longtime LHS teacher’s ‘experience’

January 28, 2006


During his three-decade career at Lawrence High School, English teacher Art Sloan was known for his wit, his passion - and for the inspiration he provided students.

"In Art Sloan's class, it was OK to be smart," said Sarah Hill-Nelson, a 1988 LHS graduate. "It was cool to be really smart."

Sloan, 55, died Tuesday at his home. A service will be at 3 p.m. today at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lawrence.

Some of his former students and colleagues this week shared memories of Sloan's exploits teaching in the classroom, coaching the Scholar's Bowl team or rooting for the school's activities.

Sloan taught 17 courses in English and the humanities at LHS for 33 years and retired in May 2005. He earned numerous teaching awards, as well as a reputation for wanting to teach the tough classes.

"Even after he retired, students still sought him out," said Steve Nilhas, LHS principal.

Hill-Nelson, who competed on the Scholar's Bowl team, said Sloan's classes were always popular. He managed to gain respect from his many students because of his enthusiasm, she said.

"He didn't ever make me feel like he had any doubts about what he was doing," she said.

Joanna Russell Voigt, a 1987 LHS graduate, took a world literature class from Sloan. The class read and discussed "War and Peace," a formidable novel for high school students.

"When people took the class, they knew it was going to be exciting," Voigt said. "His level of involvement really was stellar."

Edith Bogart, an English teacher at LHS from 1975 to 1993, called Sloan the heart of the department and remembered his daily interactions with students.



"They experienced Art," she said. "Art was an experience you had to have when you were a student."

Phil Bradley, a 1977 LHS graduate, said Sloan reached out to students who found high school uncomfortable.

"I think he helped them feel better about themselves and better about the situation," Bradley said.

Bradley never took a class from Sloan, but the two interacted during a school musical and conversed often in recent years about politics, the community and LHS.

"He was partisan and a huge fan of Lawrence High School," Bradley said.

The family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until the service today at the church.


bankboy119 11 years, 11 months ago

Sloan I'm going to miss you. God Bless.

mcoan 11 years, 11 months ago

Hey, Plumberscrack: Thanks for that reminder. Wasn't ever quite sure what it meant, though.

Sloan was one of the best teachers I had at LHS in the 1970's. Too bad I didn't know it then and showed a little more interest.

Sadly, the lesson here is obesity kills.

mcoan 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh yeah, on Friday's it was: ""If you drink don't drive. And if you drive, don't drink..."

learner 11 years, 11 months ago

"If you drink, don't drive. If you drive, don't drink. If you smoke don't toke. If you toke, don't inhale..."

I can't remember the rest, but he was a fantastic teacher. I looked forward to his class everyday.

angelbabie 11 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Sloan was an awesome teacher. His spirit and passion for teaching will be a legacy long remembered by all who had the honor of being a student in one of his many classes. I remember looking forward to his humanities class everyday. He always taught his students that there is never a stupid question. and yes the classic Mr. sloan phrases to end every friday class

If you drink don't drive, if you smoke don't toke and if you toke don't choke. =)

because he knew that he could preach to his students about not drinking and smoking but they were going to do it anyway so he wanted us to simply be safe.

Outside of the class room mr. sloan was also a good friend always giving advice about school and the importance of an education in life. Mr. Sloan is one teacher i will never forget.


BlondeTiger 11 years, 11 months ago

if you drive don't drink if you drink don't drove if you smoke don't toke if you toke don't inhale (thank you former pres clinton) .

thank you mr sloan for the enlightening 2 years you gave me as a student of lhs. you will be missed but your nostalgic advice will forever live in my heart in mind.

you are a great teacher and may you now rest in peace. I love you

Celeste Plitz 11 years, 11 months ago

A wonderful teacher-the only one whose class I ever studied for in High School! That was quite an accomplishment. :-) RIP Mr.Sloan, you were one in a million.

pelliott 11 years, 11 months ago

Every day a little zest We all die, Few live well. with heart and mind. Hero

b_asinbeer 11 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Sloan was a great teacher. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't have read Anna Karenina...ever. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't have read half of the books I've read up to this point. I also took his humanities class. Taught us about impressionism, van gogh, manet, monet....everything you would ever want/never want to know, but useful....all in one semester.

His classes and tests were tough, but it made you learn. Full of energy (at least whenever he wasn't falling asleep), great personality, and really cared about educating his students.

Remember this though....if you kiss don't tell, if you tell don't....(how did that go again?)

Thanks Mr. Sloan. You were one of my favorite teachers back in high school.

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