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  Martinsville High School Alumni
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Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You? - 54
12/10/02     Rev. David Sparks  (1962)      cdsparks@rjia.net
Hello, Classmates,

You may have heard of the two fellows talking about school days, when one asked the other, "John, which of your teachers had the most profound effect on you?"

"That's easy," he said, "Mrs. tompkins in 6th grade turned me around in my studies; challenged me; and helped me set the course for success in life."

"Did you ever write to her and let her know how much she meant to you?"

"No, but I will do it soon."

John's letter said, in part, "Mrs. Tompkins, you were my greatest teacher because of how you made such a difference in my life.....Of course, I suppose you have received many letters of this type from your students over the years, who really appreciated what you meant to them."

Mrs. Tompkins replied, "Dear John, your letter arrived on a cold, dreary day. I read your letter again and again. It's words lifted my spirits and encouraged my heart. Actually, your letter is the only one I have ever received from one of my former students." [END OF STORY]

Classmates of every Mavahi year, I don't know about you, but before these wonderful educators pass off the scene of action, I want to try to contact as many of them as I can to let them know what they meant to me personally. Just two who meant so much to me were Mr. Chester Lane and Coach Husky Hall.

May I challenge all of us to let these and other good educators know that when it counted most, they made a great difference.


Rev. David Sparks cdsparks@rjia.net
Class of '62
09/03/05     Bruce Lupton  (1962)      Loopydade@cox.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
David: After several years of reviewing the entries on this website, I finally noticed the General Messages board and your challenge. I may have mentioned this in my earlier entries of memories of Mavahi, but here goes. I'll never forget Mary Jane Powell and her constant effort in English to get her students to excel. Although I was not that great of a writer in high school, learning more in college, she above all other teachers made me work the hardest to please. I remember her beautiful scarfs she wore to cover her injuries of the past, but she was always a top notch teacher in my book. Remember, Mr. Saunders of Chemistry? He was a large fellow, but one day Shirley Shropshire splashed some acid on herself, and Saunders was on her in a heartbeat pouring a base solution on her hand and arms over the sink to neutralize the acid. His son, Buddy, played football for the Bulldogs... Ralph Shank had a profound effect on my life then and now. He had the patience to teach me both the clarinet and the oboe over the summer with practices twice a week. I never played a horn after high school until 1999 after retiring. I'm now in four bands playing the alto and baritone sax. Something I've always wanted to do. Thanks, Mr. Shank.
And last, but not least, I remember Mel Cartwright and his never ending exhuberance in History and Phys.Ed. I met him at a UNC/Maryland game in College Park when Jeff Atkins was playing for the Terps.
Thanks for the invite to relive some of these memories...
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