The Honor a Teacher Contest
held in December was an over whelming success. We received many heart-warming submissions.
My most inspirational teacher was not one who taught me from her desk or her chalkboard, or with a textbook in front of the class. She did begin her teaching career in the proverbial one-room schoolhouse in Conche, a tiny fishing community on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. She taught every grade, and every child, and every subject. She was the most educated person in her family of seven siblings and used her earnings to help her family survive many lean years. Eventually, she gave up her career to become the mother to five children and a life-long teacher in my life. She is the number one reason I became a teacher and to this day she continues to inspire me with her wisdom.
She is my mom, Mary Butler
Garfield Dykeman-An excellent grade 8 teacher and principal at Nashwaaksis Memorial School (1954-1968)/George Street Junior High School (1980)
Bill Acheson- Innovative beyond the time and was my gr.9 teacher at Devon Jr. High, later High School, then UNB.
Richard Wilber- Taught me at FHS(history) and UNB and was author, broadcaster, social critic, who retired in St. Andrews and recently passed away in 2016.
Dennis Knibb - I would have to nominate Dennis Knibb as one of the more outstanding teachers I encountered. As the Principal of SJHS for 27 years, Dennis made a significant contribution to the lives of so many students and teachers. Dennis also felt an obligation to serve the greater community. He ran for Common Council and served several terms. Believing that service need not be compensated monetarily, he contributed his stipend to numerous charities during his time in office. A remarkable individual.
Sister Belding - I was very fortunate to have had many teachers who were influential in my life. One who really stands out in my memory was a member of the Sister of Charity, who taught at Saint Vincent’s high school during my three years there.
In grade 11 we were to write the provincial examination in Algebra, which was not one of my strongest subjects. Sister Louise, later known as Sister Belding, took me aside and informed me that she had consulted with my parents, and all had agreed that I would attend Wednesday evening tutorials in Algebra for the months of May and June. She would teach a “select “group of us in her classroom from 5:00-7:00 pm and ensure that we were well prepared for our examination. The only payment expected was to thoroughly wash her blackboards when we were finished our weekly tutorial and of course, we were expected to pass the matriculation exam!
I remember thinking at the time that I was being punished and with typical teenage angst, quite resentful that I had to give up my time. However, with a firm and steady manner, and a lot of patience and humour, Sr. Louise got me through the exam, and I actually did very well.
The lessons I learned from her not just in algebra, but in perseverance, and the importance of putting in a genuine effort helped to influence my decision to become a teacher. I am very grateful to have learned from her.
Lachlan Stockford was the teacher who inspired me the most. He taught at Saint John Vocational School. He was the kindest and most caring man. He was a brilliant teacher who made learning fun and interesting while always making his students feel as though they were very important to him. His willingness to give advice and listen to his students' concerns and problems made him an exemplary teacher.
Karen (Gillcrist) Fillmore
Sr. Angela Martz - My love of Mathematics and Physics came from my favourite teacher in high school Sister Angela Martz. Because of her great ability teaching and allowing you to learn without stressing you, it inspired me to become a math and science teacher.
Keith Raymond - As a young beginning teacher Keith Raymond served as a role model and mentor. He was strict but caring. He worked with such respect for all students no matter what their circumstances were. I learned many teaching techniques but more importantly to be kind in dealing with my students. Also because of him when I went on to get my degrees I got the credentials for Administration and eventual became a Vice - Principal.
Sr. Brendan - My favourite teacher who inspired me is now deceased. Sister Brendan was a wonderful Literature teacher who taught the love of all written works!
When she read a sad passage, tears would cascade down those cheeks!
Many graduates of Saint Vincent’s will remember this beloved teacher, who inspired many to follow in her footsteps!
There was no one like Sister Brendan!!!!
Sister Janet (Sister Garneau) - Sister taught Junior High at Saint Vincent's School.
To her students she was so much more than a teacher. She was much younger than the other teachers and many of the girls would remember her playing basketball at lunch time in the gym. Sister was always someone who was willing to listen to our problems and relate to her students. She encouraged us to become lifelong readers emphasizing on us the joy and satisfaction of reading for pleasure and not necessarily gaining information to be used on the next test or exam we would be writing. She always had a quote of the day which was printed meticulously across the top of the front black board. RIP Sister Janet
Helen Rae provided me with the foundations of reading, writing and math. I had Miss Rae as my Grade One and Two teacher (combined classes both year) and although I got the strap for having 3 wrong in math, I’m sure I learned perseverance, respect, and the meaning of the phrase “say what you mean and mean what you say”.
Peter Gilchrist - The teacher who inspired me the most is Peter Gilchrist, when he was a junior high teacher at Beaconsfield School. His wry sense of humour and easy-going nature made us all feel comfortable, and our opinions valued. You could tell he loved teaching and took the time to really listen to all of us. I remember taking a poem I had written shyly up to him to read, and he gave me such positive feedback it bolstered my confidence as a writer. Move forward to 2005 when I had written a play called “Lily’s Song” and asked Peter to direct for a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society at the Imperial, which he did marvellously (and then again in 2008!). Little did I know as a student I would be blessed to become this talented, generous man’s friend.
When I became a teacher, I modeled my teaching style on their styles and continued for my 45-year career.
Bill (William) Coffee: Taught French and gr.10 History. I liked the manner he interacted with students. He treated us like, “people” not ignorant children who knew nothing and not to give an opinion.
Harold Northrup: Taught gr.10 and 11 English. Excellent instructional style. He moved around the classroom and didn’t stand at the left front corner (looking at the front)and only moving to write on the black(not green) board.
Derek Wisdom - Mr. Wisdom taught and coached me through my years at Prince Charles. From our first class in the gym, I wanted to be a gym teacher like him. He coached us everything, piled us into his car and made sure we made games, cheered us on, comforted us, encouraged us to spread our wings through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. We learned about community, helping others, camping, hiking and teamwork. Getting our Gold Awards from Prince Philip on the Royal Yacht in 1967 was an honour and thanks to Mr. Wisdom we live to help others reach for the stars.
Mark Holmes - Mr. Holmes taught us most subjects and set high standards. One day he was handing back assignments and he called “Lyle” back. He said, “Lyle I didn’t agree with your opinion, but you have researched it well and presented excellent support”. He changed Lyle’s mark to an A+. Wow!!! As a kid knowing I wanted to teach that made a huge impression on me. Set high expectations, encourage questioning, admit a mistake or a willingness to change your mind and always celebrate students’ “gifts”!
Colin Blackwood Mr. Blackwood was my Physics teacher at SJHS and I loved science and could do the problems easily but I didn’t “get” the concept of Specific Gravity. Mr. Blackwood explained that concept to me 22 times over lunch or after school until I had it. I got it!!! Great teachers have unbelievable patience and try different methods to get the point across.
Ernest Whitebone Mr. Whitebone was the principal of Prince Charles and our homeroom teacher in grade nine. He had a wonderful way about him and could bring whatever subject he was teaching come alive. We used to think he was hiding in the closet during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. He was always fair but firm, another important quality I tried to emulate.
Sister Mary Beth McCurdy - She was a new teacher when I had her in grade 5 and she did many exciting, new things in the classroom. The most important thing for me was that she sang and played guitar inspiring me to learn guitar and become a teacher myself. I loved singing with my classes, and I credit her for giving me that gift. She is now mother superior of the “Sisters of Charity”.
Gertrude Mooney - She took an interest in a student’s whole life, not just academically but things that were going on outside the building. She became a great friend and mentor, and her death left a huge hole in the many lives that she had touched.
Gladys Bell my high school Physical Education teacher inspired me. I did have a challenge with this because Mark LeRoux my high school choir director inspired my music desire. To make a long story short, I went to Teachers College and majored in both so to speak. The focus was Physical Education but kept my music alive with band and choir at TC.
Ruth MacCollum was my mentor when I started teaching in 1972, she taught grade 3 and I had her former students in grade 4. Didn't take us long to connect and we started to team teach. The opportunity to go to IVS to teach grade 5 in an open area setting (often having 66 students) was one of our most cherished times (1979-1989). I had a sabbatical in 1989-1990 and this ended our teaching time together. We were best of friends and colleagues. Ruth passed away 1993.
Dr. Wayne Hare inspired me to continue my masters in Guidance and Special Ed. which is what it was called back in 1989. Wayne is still with us today but not in good health.
Janet Teed - The first teacher that inspired me to have a love for all aspects of Home Economics, and to teach home economics, was Janet Teed. She only taught me one year, in Moncton, but her influence stayed with me.
Nancy Huttges - When I eventually changed to teaching Kindergarten, Nancy Huttges had a tremendous influence on me. Her enthusiasm for teaching was contagious. In my last few years as a Kindergarten teacher
Sara Ewart and Kathy Gallant were great co-workers that were a joy to work with and share our resources. I was fortunate to have these teachers to have a positive influence on me.
Dave (deceased) and Mary Ann Patterson were both my mentors during my high school years. They were my volleyball coaches but more importantly were like my second set of parents who helped guide me along my way. With their strong support, generosity and encouragement they convinced me to not only to go to university but to try out for UNB volleyball team when I didn't have the confidence to believe in myself.
I absolutely loved playing volleyball at UNB for four years, and have thoroughly enjoyed my teaching career of 30.5 years where I coached volleyball for many years and I am still enjoying refereeing volleyball after 25 years.
I am very grateful to these two wonderful people for who I am and what I have achieved to this day. THANK YOU Mary Ann and Dave for your wonderful guidance, above and beyond generosity and most of all, believing in me!!