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March 17, 2007

Here are few of the names I talk about in this rant (there are many more that I haven't listed here,even thought I talk about them. Because I really don't know how to spell some of their names. Remember, Mrs.Helen Martin at Fordson said I was an atrocious speller :)
Mr. Kaminski
Judith Cobley
Gorden Bremkamepf
Ron Webb
Carol Bocksky
John Kreger
Jeremy Hughes
Dr. Mary Assel
Greg Viscomi
Dean Tate
Sam Nastase
Susan Zimmermann and many, many more


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19 Comment(s)

Russ - it is always an enjoyable experience listening to you talk about the positive teachers who have touched people's lives. I did not go to a public school in Dearborn but to a Catholic school in Detroit. I have fond memories of those days.

My three favorite teachers were:

Sr. Angelita (my first grade teacher). She taught a split 1st/2nd grade class of about 50 students. She taught us to read and layed the foundation for the adults that we would become. She always had time for any student who needed special attention and we all felt that she really cared for us.

My 7th-grade teacher was a wonderful man who stepped in mid-year to take over the class when our teacher became too sick to teach. He spent hours, after school, working with a handful of us who just couldn't grasp the concept of percentages. He would bring in bags of candy and throw them to the students when we got the answers right. He also threw eraser at the kids who acted up. I'm sure that neither of these practices would be deemed politically correct today.

Sr. Anastasia was my 8th-grade teacher. She brought us into the world of writing short stories. From her, I received the love of writing that I still have today.

Thank you for writing your column and bringing these wonderful memories back to me.

--by claudia on 3/17/07   Lives: Dearborn  



12:00AM on 3/17/07

Hi Russ- What's your take on universities today? Are you still involved with the Univ of Mich Dearborn? You've commented a great deal on public schools, but I would be interested to know your opinion on the state of universities.

--by John on 3/17/07   Lives: Michigan  

Russ, I hope you haven't forgotten Ms,Susan Cranfield and Mr. W. George, They were two of my favorites at Dearborn High.

--by Sara on 3/17/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ,
I'm so happy to hear you mention Mr. Webb. I had him in my Freshman year for Creative Writing and was told repeatedly "Don't take him, he's hard!" Well, I wanted a hard teacher on writing because I knew I was good at it but I just needed some direction. He gave me that and more.

I'll never forget how after September 11th, 2001 he gave us the most rousing speech ever about the danger of the mob mentality. He had grown up in Detroit in a German family, throughout WWII, and he illustrated how it's so important to understand that an American is an American. I still remember him telling me that I can only grow as a writer if I'm the first person to critique it. He was one of the few writing teachers I've had that really could inspire every student to appreciate writing as an art form, not a chore.

--by Brian on 3/17/07   Lives: Dearborn  

To SARA:

If the W. in 'W. George' stands for William, I can tell you that Bill George is still teaching at Dearborn High, and is still very respected and popular with the students. He is also coaching softball.

--by Fordson '72 Grad on 3/19/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Ron Stuart taught English at EF in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. He was the most difficult English teacher, but also the one who demanded the most from a student. He was outstanding.

--by EFGRAD on 3/19/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Possibly the best teacher ever at Fordson High School is a woman named Pat Baron. Loved by students, faculty, and administrators alike, Mrs. Baron spent 42 years in education, most of which in the Dearborn Public Schools. She was an outstanding teacher who just retired last June. Her Winthrop field trip to the state of Washington is still being run today at Fordson, and she positively impacted thousands of students.

--by Fordson07 on 3/19/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ, I give you an "A" for your comments about Mr Nastase. He was the best teacher I had at Dearborn High. Up until I had Mr Nastase, math was a compleate mystery to me, but he took the time before an after class to help me out. And today , guess what ? I teach math in a Jr. high far from good old Dearborn. Thank you Mr Nastase. :)

--by Slow learner on 3/19/07   Lives: USA  

John Cotter
Pat Daly
Mr. Patrick EFHS
Virginia Waldinger
Pat Broderick
From Oxford School:
Mrs. Phillips
Miss Powers
Miss McCarthy
Mr. Hancock
Miss Fitzgibbons aka Mrs. Yokie

--by kudos on 3/20/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Definitely can't forget Dean Kendall or Jon Thostenson.

...and Mr. George!

All great role models for young men, and fantastic, dedicated teachers.

--by Brandon on 3/20/07   Lives: Michigan  

Mr. Currie at O.L. Smith Middle School is a math teacher of extraordinary commitment and ability. He, also, is a teacher who comes in early, stays late, works with kids at lunchtime...he believes in the kids and they know it.

Also, Ms. Voelkner at Edsel is terrific with her instrumental music students. From Jazz Band at 6:30 until chamber music after school, the program is marvelous.

My own teachers have long retired (except for Mr. George in his first year, when he taught at Lowery). These teachers taught my kids.

--by Fordson '72 Grad on 3/26/07   Lives: Dearborn  


Albanian Royalty in the South End of Dearborn:

My mother grew up on Canterbury Street in the "South End" of Dearborn, graduating from Fordson High School in 1953. Her mother (my grandmother) was the daughter of a Turkish/Albanian princess named Senije. For many years, we have researched this part of our family tree, yielding some results. But, it occurred to me that you have roots as well in that part of town. Did you know any Albanian/Turk/and or Macedonian families who lived in that area during the 1920's and 1930's?

Thanks in advance,
Carla O'Neill (mother of your former student, Shannon)

--by Carla O'Neill on 3/26/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Russ Gibb! Hello!

I just found this site of yours as I was searching for a name from the past...from your past in 1967-68...and then again from mine at DHS in 1980 or so.

Great memories.

For what it's worth, I was in Greg Viscomi's class. Good guy. First time I knew he was teaching at DHS was when I ran into him years later, playing the part of Orville Wright (or was it Wilbur?) over at Greenfield Village.

Mr. Bremenkampf...great teacher. High expectations, and strict. We didn't see enough of that. He had this thing about promptness...he'd lock the door when the bell rang, and if you weren't in the room, he wouldn't let you in...he'd just pass the day's assignment under the door and wave at you. Well, one day we (the senior pre-calc class...we were the smart ones, you know) decided we'd challenge him. We waited in the bathroom across the hall until after the bell. Well, he stuck to his principles and passed ten or fifteen assignments under the door, and taught five or ten kids that day.

Does Mr. B. still drive the Corvette?

How about Mr. Fisher over at Bryant? I last saw him in the math department over at DHS, after I graduated. I remember him being described (by one of his Bryant colleagues) as the "fire breathing dragon" in the next room. He had the multi-pack smokers voice and Marine Corps disciplinary style to back it up. If you passed his class, you could make it in any math class.

But it wasn't always the classroom teachers that made the impact. I never had you for a teacher. But, you sponsored our Pretentious Club from the start in 1978 or thereabout. You encouraged us and put up with each and every one of our ideas, as quirky as they may have been. You cared about the kids...many thanks.

Anyway, that's the reason I was looking you up...I was talking music at a pub last week, and drew a blank on one of the headline names you got for one of our Pretentious Club shows: Wayne Kramer. I should take a cue from you and start writing these things down before I forget.

Hope all is well with you and everyone else in Dearborn.

Regards,
Fred

--by Fred Ullrich on 3/27/07   Lives: Michigan  

Mr. George was an A+ teacher at Lowrey back in the day. (He was also the girl's basketball coach.)

How about Mr. Davis at Lowrey? He planned and carried out a "The Washington Trip", a week field trip that visited four states in seven days, HANDS DOWN!!! He was a true gift to anyone who walked through the doors of Lowrey in the 70's/80's. Rest in peace Mr. Davis.

P.S. 60 minutes anyone?

--by Polar Bears Rule! on 3/27/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Albanian Royalty in the South End of Dearborn:

Re: your post about Albanian royalty. My mother (Martha Braun Lowy)grew up in Austria and one of her classmates in the mid 1920s was a princess of Albania. The name recalled was Lona toptani.Does any of this ring a bell? Ilse Nusbaum- now of L.A.

My mother grew up on Canterbury Street in the "South End" of Dearborn, graduating from Fordson High School in 1953. Her mother (my grandmother) was the daughter of a Turkish/Albanian princess named Senije. For many years, we have researched this part of our family tree, yielding some results. But, it occurred to me that you have roots as well in that part of town. Did you know any Albanian/Turk/and or Macedonian families who lived in that area during the 1920's and 1930's?

Thanks in advance,
Carla O'Neill (mother of your former student, Shannon)


--by Carla O'Neill on 3/26/07

--by Ilse Nusbaum on 4/16/07   Lives: USA  

Thank you so much for your comments about my father, Ron Webb. I know I'm biased, but he's truly the best journalism teacher I ever had. I attended one of the top journalism schools in the country. There I learned a lot about filing on deadline. I learned a lot about networking. I got a pedigree that will get my resume a second look at any paper in the country. But the gist of what I do every day comes from my father's Journalism 1 class. He taught me more about writing and interviewing and a passion for the craft than I ever could have learned elsewhere. He doesn't believe me, but it's true.

--by Rachel Webb on 10/16/07   Lives: USA  

Teachers that shaped my life: Carl Korte in 5th grade at Whitmore Bolles worked very hard to get me up to educational par, having come from the Detroit public school system. Ron Bukowski (math) at Edison, who on the first day of class announced that he was starting us all off as “C” students; “C” was an improvement for me! Ed Skendzel (English) at Edsel Ford started my etymology hobby and shaped my writing skills. Lee McFarland (Speech/Debate) at Edsel Ford, who taught me public speaking (and acting) skills that rival Toastmasters. And finally, Virginia Waldinger (French) at Edsel Ford, 3 years of straight A’s, where I finally learned that I was good at something-languages; I went on to learn 4 more. These teachers helped shaped my life, and I always meant to somehow let them know it. I hope they are reading your blog.

--by Roni on 3/15/08   Lives: USA  

I am going to pass Roni's comment to Carl Korte's son. I am Carl's step-daughter. He passed away in 93 while living in South Carolina. I know he was devoted to teaching. He started working with me while dating my mother. So, by time I entered kindergarden, I was reading at a second grade level. No matter what people say or think. When Dearborn lost Carl Korte, they lost onr of the best out there.

--by Leia Longridge on 5/1/08   Lives: USA  

I second Rachel's comment about Mr. Webb. He taught the fundamentals of journalism in a way that is truly rare, particularly at the high school level. Maybe the newspaper business would be in a better place if everyone had been schooled by Mr. Webb. The world could use a little more truth, accuracy and integrity. In addition, I'd add Mr. Wroblewski and Mrs. Lamerato to the list of outstanding teachers. They certainly were huge influences for me.

--by Jennifer Day on 8/4/08   Lives: USA  

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