Friday, March 11, 2011

My Top Ten Teachers List

Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 10:22pm
Teachers are incredibly important to our society, but never get the recognition they deserve. Here is my list of the top ten teachers I encountered during my education. I was fortunate in that it was not easy to get my list down to only ten teachers, and a few really good ones fell just short of the cut-off. I put the final list in chronological order:

1. Sharon Carr - My second grade teacher at Murphytown Elementary was young, pretty, and really encouraged me to excel in school. When I broke my nose on the playground, she took me to the hospital. I wonder where she is today?

2. John Anderson - My fourth grade teacher at Murphytown was another young teacher, who took any extra time at the end of class to answer any question we had. I can still remember him explaining things like how a refrigerator worked on a level we could understand. He was still teaching in Wood County when I was elected to the school board.

3. John Apgar - My ninth grade civics teacher had a number of innovative ideas. He did a stock market exercise to teach us about Wall Street. He gave extra credit for anyone who did volunteer work in an election campaign, so I got my first taste of politics by working at the Wood County GOP Headquarters. There were four of us who worked so much we got invited to Arch Moore's inauguration in January 1973. Mr. Apgar took the day off and drove us all to Charleston to attend. He later moved to PHS, and helped to get me elected in '92.

4. Patty Sayre - As a senior in high school, Mrs. Sayre became a great friend to me. I still remember her teaching me that there is "a rat" in the word "separate". She retired from PHS this past spring, and had been a helpful resource during my BOE days.

5. Evelyn Harris - She is a legend at the University of Charleston, where she started teaching in the '40s (Robert Byrd was one of her students). I learned more from her than just about anyone--a classic teacher, advisor, and mentor. Last I heard she still does some teaching at UC. I've let her know how much she influences my attempt at teaching.

6. Richard Shultz - He was the young new PoliSci teacher at UC as a counterpart to the traditional style of Dr. Harris. He also was the advisor to the Model UN and the College Bowl team trips, and thus took me to New York City and Miami. I have heard him interviewed on the news from time to time as a Tufts University professor and an expert in Internal Relations.

7. Richard Neely - As a member of the WV Supreme Court, he was an adjunct professor at UC. No one else could teach the "dismal science" of economics at 8:00 in the morning better than Neely--he really made it interesting. He strongly encouraged me to go to law school, even though I told him I didn't want to be a lawyer. I'm glad he did!

8. Dave Williams - Dave taught Public Administration at WVU, and was absolutely one of the nicest guys I have ever met. I learned a lot from him, and still remember his unique fountain pen markings on my papers. I met with him shortly before he retired a few years ago, and in our conversation about my adjunct teaching at WVU-P, he noted that made me not just a former student, but a colleague--I treasured that compliment.

9. Jerry Pops - Dr. Pops has a law degree, but taught in the MPA program at WVU. We had some very stimulating "debates" in his Labor Relations course. I took one of his classes while in law school, which included a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year I was invited to speak to the MPA students in Morgantown, and Jerry was in the audience. I was honored to have the opportunity for this role reversal, as I was the "teacher" standing in the front of the room while he was the student sitting in the back.

10. Forrest Bowman - Professor Bowman taught Property as well as Estate Law at WVU Law School, and was one of the most interesting lecturers I had at law school, as well as an all-around nice guy.

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