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Who is your favorite teacher?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 7, 2011

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Photo of Shawnee Barron

“Marti Mihalyi. I had him in college. He taught creative writing. Advanced composition was the class.”

Photo of Paul Christensen

“Joanne Altman. She taught animal psychology.”

Photo of David Fernkopf

“George Shupe in first grade. He’s the reason I’m a teacher.”

Photo of Brooke Bell

“Ellen Ross. She was my senior English teacher.”

Comments

1029 2 years, 8 months ago

My favorite was my 5th grade Art teacher because she used to invite us to her house on weekends and get us high. She also gave me my first beer.

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Noemon 2 years, 8 months ago

Grade School: Mrs. Wheeler--Colony 4 (aka 5th and 6th grade) at Broken Arrow. She was exactly the right combination of intelligent, kind, and perceptive. I still have the bookmark that she made me for my birthday the year she was my "home" teacher.

Junior High: Probably Mr. Clouser, who taught civics. He was smart, intimidating enough to get kids to stay quiet, and zany enough to hold everybody's interest. He was the sort of teacher who expected a lot of his students, and succeeded (in my case, anyway) in getting thm to live up to those expectations.

High School: This is a toss up between Carolyn Graham, who taught English, and Ken Highfill, who taught biology and zoology. Both of them were rigorous and insightful, and Mr. Highfill in particular did more to prepare me for college than any other teacher. Art Sloan's another that I liked a lot.

College: I was lucky, in that I had a number of really exceptional professors at KU. The best...well, probably Mike Shaw. I took his Greek Drama II, and honestly I feel like I learned more in that class than I did in the rest of my undergraduate career. He assigned a number of short--4 page, I think--essays, asking questions about the human condition that were inspired by the plays we'd read, and we were expected to really think through things on a level I'd never been forced to before. Rather than just hand the papers back with a letter grade and a few comments scribbled in the margins, he made an appointment with every student, having them come into his office and listen as he read their essay to them, line by line, dissecting the arguments, discussing their style, and so forth. My only great regret from college is that I didn't take Greek Drama 1 from him. Runners up include Pam Gordon, who made Ancient Greek an approachable subject, Betty Banks, who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear in her lectures, and who instilled a great love of art in me, Dan Breslauer, who had a mind like a steel trap, Paul Mirecki, who (along with Dr. Breslauer) taught me an enormous amount about textual analysis and actually taught me how to express myself succinctly in writing, and Richard Kay, who made me love Frederick Barbarossa, and who knew how to tell history as an enthralling story.

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gphawk89 2 years, 8 months ago

Grade School: Carolyn Gentzler High School: Calvin Anderson College: Vic Frost

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2 years, 8 months ago

I am a teacher and it sure has been wonderful to know what it is that makes a lasting impression on kids. It looks like one needs to be themself, make a connection with their students and have a good sense of humor and use it in the classroom. There is no replacement for authenticity. It would be my dream to have my name added here someday.

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bastet 2 years, 8 months ago

Uh, either Shawnee Barron wasn't paying too much attention in class or the LJW has made a rather odd error: Marti Mihalyi is a woman. (Also, quite a good teacher.)

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riverdrifter 2 years, 8 months ago

Henry Kirk, professor of American history at Baker University. He was just wonderful.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

I fink I likes me some Marshall Mathers. I should have gone to Buttrocksas.

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g_rock 2 years, 8 months ago

I miss having college professors that I had crushes on....

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ToteAlongShaker 2 years, 8 months ago

Alice Lieberman - she's the reason i am a social worker. love ya Al, Jack

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kernal 2 years, 8 months ago

Mrs. Shelton: my favorite English literature teacher at Topeka High. I've never had another teacher whose face lighted up so much when discussing literature. I heard her daughter is now a teacher in Johnson County. If Sarah is half as good as her mom, those are some lucky kids!

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

FYI, for all you Buttrocksas fans, there's a segment on Marshall Mathers(Eminem) on 60 Minutes tonight, 6pm CBS.

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Deja Coffin 2 years, 8 months ago

Although I'm not sure they would claim me after reading some of my posts on here. Particularly the ones that I post strictly out of boredom..... But I think Eudora had a lot of great teachers. My top favorite teachers would have to be: Mr, Vincent, Mr. Hinman, Mr. Kuhlman, Mr. Sailler, Mr. Deman, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Hanna, Mr. Eshbaugh, Mrs. Lowrance, and Mr. Bova. I know I'm probably forgetting a bunch of teachers that also deserve to be acknowledged as well but I'm starting to sound like a teacher's pet. Oh who am I kidding, I was a teacher's pet. Little did they know.... Although one of my favorite administrators at ole' EHS was not a teacher but the most amazing AD ever, Mr. McPherson!

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Kaltenbach, then an English professor at Emporia State (then KSTC). The semester I took his class he analyzed various writing styles. It wasn't one of those "read this book and give me a book report"-type classes . No, his intent was to show us how in our own writing we have the option of approaching subject matter in non-linear ways. We can attack it straight ahead, sure. But we can also get it done by approaching from different directions, even use a mix of directions and still make it work. Years later I would put this liberating idea to use every week when writing outdoor sports stories.

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CreatureComforts 2 years, 8 months ago

Where exactly does one take a class on animal psychology?!?!

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Pitt_Mackeson 2 years, 8 months ago

But really Dr. Clouser from my 9th grade Civics class (which really was social studies as Dr. Clouser said we did not study Civics in that class) He was very strict for the first couple classes (like Mr. Hand) but eventually we came to know him and he started to know us. That is when you get a really good education ladies and germs.

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Multidisciplinary 2 years, 8 months ago

Bob Ross Norm Abram Dr.Eric Shulenberger, PhD JD

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

Then, of course, there was Harry Schaeffer(sp), Economics Professor Extrodinaire. I only took Econ cuz it was required. I hate numbers. I saw him a few years ago and told him I got a D in his class. He just smiled and said, in that raspy voice, "Shaaaame On You!"

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

I also had some huge lecture class with this old hippie named Dale Gadd. He used to make cool feedback noises with his microphone, on purpose.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Richard Greene who taught history and would tell us the funny / scandalous stories about historical figures.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey, did anyone besides me have Melements of Advertising with Mel Adams at KU? He had blue hair. He's dead now. If you went to KU and didn't have at least one class with Dick Wright, especially Intro to Jazz, you're either a damn liar or you took school too seriously. I took ALL of his classes. Sights and Sounds of the 20's, 30's, 40's, etc. He was so cool and funny and serious. He used to sing old Cole Porter tunes in class. And he always started fuming if people weren't paying attention. This basketball player Rodney Hull showed up twice all semester. A lot of people took Dick's classes cuz they were pud, but I seriously enjoyed Music History. KU made him give them 30,000 jazz albums so he could make professor. He's dead now, too.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 8 months ago

Studies have found as students progress through college the answer to the favorite teacher changes.

As Frosh, the majority always name a fun, off the wall, buddy type instructor. Interviewed before graduation this answer changes to more English/Math instructors who were tough, or Social Studies teachers who challenged them to explore the subject.

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Bill Lee 2 years, 8 months ago

Ross Miracle at Neodesha High School. He made me appreciate the English language and the rules of grammar.

Fred Litto at KU. He opened the world of African theatre to me. I learned that there was art of many kinds beyond Europe and the USA.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

Actually, when I ponder all of the great teachers I've had in my life, Beavis & Butthead are the greatest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CreXm9Mi3YQ&feature=related

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

Cousin Virgil and me of ten sit around and split a bottle of McCormick in the plastic bottle. But then Virgil's such a damn wierdo he like to watch this kind of crap. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-mI3nuCjss

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secrettoalonglife 2 years, 8 months ago

Maggie Carttar. Taught 6th grade at Sunset Hill Elementary, and told me I would love the movie Harold and Maude.

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grammaddy 2 years, 8 months ago

For myself it would be Mrs. Miller (3rd grade) from Topeka Lutheran School. She held my hand all the way out to the bus the day JFK was assassinated and called my mother later that evening to make sure I was okay..

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grammaddy 2 years, 8 months ago

Ted and Judy Juneau! Ted was principal at LHS and Judy was principal at the Alternative High School. Without their combined effort, my 2 youngest kids might not have graduated.

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tange 2 years, 8 months ago

I'm largely self-taught, not that I can recommend the teacher.

/ "yeah, that'll teach me..."

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rockchalker52 2 years, 8 months ago

"Miss Engleson taught Algebra at Central Junior High. Second floor, Southwest corner. She was teh debbil." You have mastered the art of understatement, Roe. I'm pretty sure the teachers were scared of her, too.

Del Fambrough at LHS was an all-time favorite teech of mine. She was as classy as her husband is cool.

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autie 2 years, 8 months ago

In the college days...Henry Fitch. No doubt; he was the coolest dude.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Miss Spotts was my third grade teacher. We were sure she arrived each morning and departed each afternoon riding a broom and wearing a pointy black hat. She looked like Margaret Hamilton with thin white hair. And screeched when she spoke.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Miss Engleson taught Algebra at Central Junior High. Second floor, Southwest corner. She was teh debbil. I cringe every time I drive by there, expecting to see two glowing red eyes following me from behind the venetian blinds.

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RoeDapple 2 years, 8 months ago

Mrs Roe. For 39 years this next December.

(of course before her there was Miss Wilson, 2nd grade teacher in '55. Tall, thin, black hair and bright red lipstick. This seven year old was totally smitten. She would be about . . . 84 now. Damn.)

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SouthSide 2 years, 8 months ago

Aw c'mon cousin Hollis, ya gotta agree with me and Virgil that Johnny Cash was always a good teacher, a sorts... well, I mean when it comes to life's lessons and all. Ya listen to his guitar playin' and his singin' ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9IfHD... ) and I say thats all ya need to know 'bout life and what comes after, and I'm serious here, cause cousin Jerry Lee tried to do a good job on it but he always got caught up preachin' the word and stuff to the young ladies, not a good mix. But me an' Virgil just sits back and listens to his old spinner vinyls of Buck Owens and ol' Don Rich ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYKVb7... ), an' we screw open a 750 a McCormick ginster an' I begin thinkin' I'm gettin' persuaded by Don's playin' on that 'lectric Fender Telecaster and the sweet harmonies 'tween Buck n' Don that Virgil been talkin' 'bout since we was kids. Virgil says Jimmy Page owes his career to good ol' Don Rich, n' after watchin' ol' Don on the You Tube, I'm beginning to see things Virgil's way.

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Daniel Speicher 2 years, 8 months ago

I feel very blessed to have had the teachers I had throughout my public education here in Lawrence. Honestly, it could go to any one of my elementary teachers: Mrs. Quiring, Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Becker, Mrs. Parr, Mr. Bay or Mr. Henrichs. However, it was in junior high and high school that I had the four most influential teachers I've ever had:

Dr. Boyd & Mrs. Cox - Who taught me to truly love music and performance art.

Mr. Sloan - Who taught me that class can be a combination of hard work AND humor.

and, my all time favorite...

Mrs. Souders - Who taught me that education without a personal connection with students is void of true value. She never hesitated at making me feel like I was her favorite student. Yet, when I look back, I would dare say nearly every student that had her could have said the exact same thing. It is a rare thing when a teacher can give adequate parts knowledge, love, respect and attention and still remain sane at the end of the day.

The best part about this is, out of the ten teachers listed that I had when I was in school (graduated in 2000), five still remain in the Lawrence Public School District and another remains in the area. I think it takes special teachers to pour their lives into one community or region for an extended period of their career.

We are blessed with the faculty we have in this district for sure. Glad to see they were able to get at least a bit of a raise despite the cuts. They are most deserving.

--Danny Speicher

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Kenny Nall 2 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Hoffman from Cordley took us sailing. Probably the coolest teacher ever.

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HollisBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

You mean, like, a school teacher? Easy. Chuck Holley, CJHS. Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Friend.

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milkman_dan 2 years, 8 months ago

"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there..."

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