When the bell sounds at 2:10 p.m., students pile noisily out of the P.E. hallway, toward their buses or friends. In the midst of the hysteria, a teacher leans casually against the wall outside his classroom, slapping hands, laughing and joking playfully with students on their way out. The day however, is not nearly over for Richard Porac, a notoriously entertaining health teacher.
Late January marks the end of the indoor track season. Most members have long since disappeared, whether from the onset of studying for exams or not qualifying for the regional meet. The remaining runners face the frosty track each day after school, and they are not alone. Their coach sprints alongside them, feeling the same shin splints and fatigue. She who dares to join her athletes in the dreary weather instead of comfortably standing by on the sidelines is Heather Amell.
The precalculus student remains thoroughly confused, staring at his math problem, which is a quarter page of mathematical monstrosity. Rescue comes in the form of his new favorite math teacher, William Rose, who enters the Math Help Room with a usual quick and upbeat pace, looking to help anyone with a math dilemma. In a matter of minutes, the problem is quickly deconstructed and the crisis resolved, thanks to a quick intervention by Rose.
One of the fascinating things about Leslie Rogers is that he brews his own beer. And that he rides a motorcycle. And that he worked in Australia. And that he didn't start college until he was 26. Get the picture? Rogers is an all-around fascinating guy.
Relaxed at his desk, which is covered with books, educational movies and a miniature skeleton, David Whitacre, teacher of Cultural Anthropology and Modern World History, sits sipping his Starbucks drink. What someone cannot tell from just looking at Whitacre is that he a brillant teacher, with a flair for making dull classes interesting.
Kenneth Seat does not like to talk about himself. "I've never really felt comfortable talking about my personal life," he said, taking a sip from his mug, which is adorned with Japanese characters. "But if you want to get personal, here's a recent picture of my daughter."
English teacher Michael Horne grew up a well-rounded child in Connecticut. He had one sister and played a little of every sport and played the accordion. Since then, his interests have changed, but his well-roundedness has remained as one of his best qualities.
At first glance, the guy leaning against the gym's wall, exchanging daps and a quick "What's up?" with the tall basketball players that walk by him, looks like a fellow student, ready to follow them on the court and "play some ball" with them. But in fact he's there to supervise the boys during open gym. The guy is Emanuel Charles, a second year Physical Education teacher at Blair.
Cheers filled the air as a person stepped up to the podium to speak. As the person started to speak, it suddenly became deathly still as his voice was carried all the way to the back of the crowd by the microphone. Robert Donaldson stood there in place, entranced, as he listened, his light blue eyes fixed on the speaker. It is August 28, 1963, during the famous March on Washington, the pinnacle of the Civil Rights Movement.
A young man arrived at a naval hospital in Bethesda during the Vietnam War, comatose after driving a truck into a brick wall. His prognosis was grim: doctors had little hope of recovery. Enter Anne Wisniewski and her fellow nurses. They walked him up and down his ward everyday, two propelling his legs and a third supporting him from behind. After a year, he could walk and talk independently.
Special Ed teacher Abigail Holmes calmly sits in her chair with her legs crossed and a smile on her face. She wears a black dress and a pair of high-heeled shoes and leans onto her desk in a relaxed manner like a cat sitting by a sun-lit window.
Sandra Ivey sits down after deciding how long to heat her lunch in the English department's microwave. She has a welcoming smile that encourages friendlyconversations. In fact, her whole manner reflects her friendly personality, from her casual blue jeans to her face that is always accompanied by a grin.
A river in Vermont is at flood stage. Water rushes rapidly, pushing a woman into a fallen tree. Her friends watch in terror as the woman is helplesslytrapped, pinned between the tree and her kayak. But suddenly, she is able to save herself.
Leaning back in his office chair, James Mogge takes the time to recall his career in teaching. He places his hands behind his head, relaxed and focused on the questions at the same time. Mogge pauses for a second as he adds up the numbers in his head before revealing that he has taught at four different high schools over his 22-year career. He moves on to recollect the experiences of his life as a teacher.
Strum, Strum. Quietly but persistently, a lone guitar sings a song to all nearby. The melody seems out of place, alone, and the musician oblivious to his surroundings. Suddenly, a second pair of hands grabs the guitar, and wrench it from the owner's grasp. In a swift movement, the intruder swings the instrument through the air, straight at the guitarist's head. At the last moment, the attacker changes course, and the guitar instead smashes into a thousand pieces on the floor.
At 2:10 p.m., the rhythmic, pre-recorded bell sounds in Blair's hallways.Wading through the tide of rushing bodies and bulging backpacks, socialstudies teacher Rondai Ravilious pushes a paper-, book-, and file-filledcart on the way to her eighth-period classroom. Forty-six minutes andone AP World History class later, she works her way to the Social StudiesOffice but is stopped within the doorway when addressed by a student, ateacher, and an urgent telephone call.
After high school, John Macdonald looked forward to a future with professional baseball. However, soon after Macdonald graduated from Blair High school in 1980, he altered his aspirations and chose to become a teacher because of his attachment to Blair. "I feel very loyal to Blair High School. I wouldn't want to teach or coach anywhere else. I feel like I have been here since 1978. There really were only two years, 1981 and 1982, where I wasn't here," said Mr. MacDonald.
Upon first glance at math teacher Earl W. Lindsey, the first thing you would not think is not that he teaches geometry, or that he is married with three children. Instead, you would wonder to yourself, "Who is this young man, and how does he juggle teaching math, coaching the Blair JV football team, and spending time with his family all at one time?” The answer to your question would be a simple one: with determination, patience, and a dream of helping to shape America's future.
Modern World and ESOL teacher Margarita Bohorquez is an easy-going, laid back kind of person. She sits at her desk smiling, decked out in a sweatshirt and jeans. However, she did not always want to be a teacher. "I was after fortune and fame [in college], so law became important, "Bohorquez said, chuckling. When Bohorquez was six, her role model was her grandmother, who was a teacher. From that point on, she knew she wanted to get into a profession where she could help people. However, once she became a lawyer, she realized that she was not achieving her goal to the fullest. "I found I could do more in education,” she said, comparing her ability to help people in the two professions. "In law I was more often mending fences than actually helping people.”
KISS, Motley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Ratt: all hard rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s that any grungy metalhead would gleefully slam around to. As science teacher Ms. Angelique Bosse proves, petite and down to earth mothers of two can love these bands as well.
Mark Grossman, 28, is excited about his first year of teaching. He was born in Silver Spring, but Grossman grew up in Bexley, Ohio where he attended high school there. He returned to Maryland to attend Goucher College in Baltimore where he majored in European Colonial History and minored in economics. He enjoys gardening, swimming, reading, and playing guitar. However, despite these ordinary hobbies, his life has been nothing of the sort.
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