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Martinsville High School Alumni
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Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You? - 54
12/15/02     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 sweet 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. I have already contacted them for just this purpose of letting them know what a difference they made in my life.

May I challenge every Mavahi alumni to let these and other good educators know that when it counted most, they made a great difference.

Sincerely,

Rev. David Sparks cdsparks@rjia.net
Class of '62
 
12/14/02     Ralph Pruitt  (1956)      rpru@earthlink.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
Rev. Sparks,

During my years in the school system, I was
a very poor student that failed to apply
himself to the task. One teacher seemed to
sense this .... and I think she tried des-
pertly to turn me around. However, I did
not listen and eventually became a "drop
out". I payed for that mistake time and
again and have always been grateful to Ms.
Nancy Leslie for at least trying to "turn me
around" the way she did. I now "salute" Ms.
Leslie and feel that she was an above
average teacher.
12/15/02     Rev. David Sparks  (1962)      cdsparks@rjia.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
Greetings, Ralph,

Thank you for your reply to this message about wonderful teachers we had in school. May I say that I really appreciate the honest, humble spirit and attitude you express in all of the messages you post on Mavahi.Com from time to time.

Without trying to be a know-it-all, let me say that although your beginnings in the education system were no doubt rough and disappointing to you, YOU HAVE COME A LONG, LONG WAY OVER THE YEARS. Your favorite teacher,Ms. Nancy Leslie, accomplished a lot more than she may have ever imagined --- or that you imagined, Ralph.

As I read the messages you post on this website, it is quite obvious that you still have a great love for dear old "Mavahi" down deep in your heart. We all have talked to highly educated folks sometime who did not possess a thimble-full of the humility and class you show, Ralph.

You are the kind of shipmate I would have been proud to serve with in the Navy, or the kind of buddy I would want in the foxhole with me on the battlefield.

Im not really aware of how life turned out for you, but I will wager that your family, neighbors, and co-workers on the job with you have a high respect and appreciation for Ralph Pruitt. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A GREAT GUY IN MY BOOK!

Keep those emails and messages rolling in, Ralph. Some of them are real classics!

Your pal in Christ,

Rev. David Sparks cdsparks@rjia.net
(Class of 1962)
12/15/02     Ralph Pruitt  (1956)      rpru@earthlink.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
Rev. Sparks - your words were very gracious
and heart-warming. I appreciate all that
you had to say. I have been in email con-
tact with your sister, Esther, who is a long
time friend of mine. In fact, ALL of the
Sparks family were friends to me. I once
told Esther that the Sparks family was
always regarded by me as "THE FIRST FAMILY
OF JONES CREEK". Anyway, David, thank you.
12/24/02     MOIR HILL  (1954)      mlbbhill@aol.com
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
IN THE PAST I HAVE WRITTEN A LETTER TO THE SCHOOL BOARD THANKING THEM FOR THE FINE EDUCATION THEY OFFERED ME.....IN THE LETTER I SINGLED OUT THE FOLLOWING TEACHERS WHO WERE AN INFLUENCE ON MY BECOMING A TEACHER MYSELF FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS......PUTNEY,HELDRETH,RUSSELL AND CARTWRIGHT.....I TOOK THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT EACH DEMONSTRATED TO ME AND MOLDED MY LIFE AFTER THEM.....TOGETHER WITH WHAT MY DAD (MOIR HILL SR) TAUGHT ME ABOUT BEING A DAD, HUSBAND, AND GRANDFATHER AND THESE GREAT QUALITIES FROM THESE TEACHERS AND THE GRACE OF GOD I HAVE LOVED MY CAREER....MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL .....MOIR HILL
12/27/02     Rev. David Sparks  (1962)      cdsparks@rjia.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
Dear Mr. Hill,

I appreciated your good thoughts in response to my message on the Mavahi.com website concerning great teachers we had in school.

I recognized some of the teachers you singled out for praise in helping to shape your own career as a teacher: Coaches Heldreth, and Cartwright. It sounds, however, as if your wonderful father was a powerful influence on your life MOST OF ALL.

Thank YOU, BROTHER HILL, for the FORTY-PLUS YEARS you have given to education as a teacher. May your many students one day "rise up and call you bless-ed", as one Scripture says.

God bless you and your family this holiday season.

Sincerely in Christ,

Rev. David Sparks (1962)
cdsparks@rjia.net
01/03/03     Ralph Pruitt  (1956)      rpru@earthlink.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
I would like to add some words of praise
for Junior Hill. Anyone that attended
MaVaHi in the early 50's knew of Junior
Hill. He was about the slickest fielding
shortstop I ever seen. He could hit a
"couple pounds", too. Remembering Junior
Hill from MaVaHi and knowing of his many
fine qualities on a baseball field - and
as a student - leaves no room for doubt re-
lating to how effective he was as a teacher
in later years. I am proud to have known
you, Junior - you are indeed a credit to
mankind.
01/03/03     Ralph Pruitt  (1956)      rpru@earthlink.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
I would also like to "echo" the tribute
Mr. Moir "Junior" Hill paid to Coaches
W. K. Putney and Dave Russell. Coach Putney
was a fine baseball and basketball coach.
Coach Russell did a great job in football.
The finest quality about both gentlemen was
the manner in which they molded their stu-
dents to always display SPORTSMANSHIP.
Enough could never be said that would tell
the "true story" of how these two fine men
guided their students.
01/07/03     Ralph Pruitt  (1956)      rpru@earthlink.net
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
This is not really paying tribute to a
teacher - but, I just had to pass on this
story about Coach Dave Russell. It is true.
I played on the 1953 JV football team and
Coach Dave Russell was one of the coaches
along with Willis Milton. Some of us guys
were voicing complaints about soreness -
"charley horses", etc. Coach Russell pro-
ceded to tell us a story about when he was
a college football player. A half-back, at
that. Coach Russell told us that he once
played 3 quarters with a broken-leg and did
not know it. Great coach, for sure - and
tough, too.
03/03/06     Melvin Smith  (1963)      melvinsmit@msn.com
Re: Which Teacher Had the Most Profound Effect on You?
There were alot of teachers that had an effect on me. I was taught a proffesion by Mr. Sam Lawrence, but above that I was taught by him to think the job out then do the work rtight the first time. I tell him how much I appreciate him for doing a job that he wanted to do and doing it right. Havn't heard from you lately. Is everything going great for you? How is the grandchild?
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