The Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Thread

August 25, 2012 at 10:05 am 41 comments

To generate that back-to-school excitement (that is squelched by school supply shopping) here is the long requested Teacher Appreciation thread. Did we do this once before? I can’t remember.

My all time favorite teacher was 1972 in Gary Indiana. Our teacher made the class fun, vibrant, interesting and even made flashcard learning enjoyable. She taught a bunch of us (even boys!) to crochet by staying in the classroom during lunch hour for those of us who wanted to partake. I remember her being kind and fair.

FYI, my 3rd and 4th grade was spent in a small private Jewish school with a total of 30 kids across grades 1-6. Each class had 10 kids. I think that was during the era of progressive classrooms when things were open, kids were allowed to sit on the floor and read and “do your own thing.” I remember it being fun, but don’t really recall the teachers. Maybe that was the plan during that era.

In middle school, it was still the era of the open classroom and my middle school was like one giant room with partitions. It was truly awful for learning. Repeatedly a wad of paper would come flying over the partition and whap you in the head, launched by some 12yo boy. You could hear not only your own teacher, but 3 others as well so it was hard to concentrate.

I was terrible at math as we were ramping up with algebra. One day a student teacher sat down with me to help me with some problems and however she explained it, whatever she did, opened up a great light for me and everything changed. I suddenly got it. And by high school I went to a Mathletes competition. I wish I could recall what she told me. It was like the holy grail of math.

Share your stories. They’re fun to read.

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41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cpsobsessed  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    From Patricia:
    I’ve posted this in relation to other topics, but one of my kids had the most amazing math teacher. He is so good at math himself and literally inspires an entire program to think that math is fun and cool. He is able to teach to every single kid individually by using (which I had a LONG gushing post about in another thread) and other ways. He is a master “jedi” teacher….to borrow a phrase from Mayfair Dad  This teacher struck a chord with my son and it was like adding water to a wilting flower of math academics. My son was never challenged in math until this teacher. I literally bring myself to tears when I think of how thankful I am to see my kid so challenged and happy. Anything I say about this teacher will not do justice to how incredible he is. CarolA I am glad to hear a note means something to you because I certainly do that with the incredible teachers we come across.

  • 2. cpsobsessed  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

    From MayfairDad:
    In third grade, my daughter was assigned to keep a daily journal, which was reviewed nightly by her amazing teacher, Ms. Rollings. What started out as tentative 5 – 6 word sentences flourished into brave prose as my little author found her voice and became fascinated with words. The running commentary between teacher and student was a very tender and personal conversation – it was like a dam burst and words came pouring out. My daughter will never forget Ms. Rollings, nor will I.

  • 3. EdgewaterMom  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

    My daughter’s first grade teacher (in CPS) was amazing – and it was her first year teaching. My daughter had several issues that made that year very challenging for her, and her teacher was nurturing, sweet and exactly what my daughter needed at the time. She will always have a special place in our hearts!

    I thanked her often during the year, but I also sent her a note recently (almost 4 years later) after coming across a parent site for children dealing with similar issues and reading so many teacher horror stories. I knew she was wonderful, but in comparison to the experience that many others had (at different schools across the country) she stood out even more.

    I am also so appreciative of the social worker in our school. There were several issues with bullying during the younger grades and she really dealt with it very well. I love that my daughter knows that there is always somebody that she can turn to at her school if she needs it.

  • 4. Patricia  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:32 am

    CPSO LOL! I love the graphics you select for your topics. Always puts a smile on my face 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • 5. cpsobsessed  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

    From Patricia:
    Walking down memory lane here………… favorite teacher from childhood is Mr. Brown in 5th grade. I can still name every bone in the body because of him and have vivid memories of my time in his classroom. He found a way to have us go on field trips every single week so we could get out there and actually have hands on experience about what we were learning. We planted trees, went to paper mills, went to the dunes, etc. No budget, he got the parents to volunteer and set up a driving rotation (a different time). At one of my HS reunions a group of us were talking about grade school and everyone said Mr. Brown was their favorite. I also discovered that he made connections with every one of us in different ways. With me, getting a box of bones—putting them together—then figuring out what animal it was and understanding how the skeleton supported the body, etc. was something I could not get enough of. He kept my interest growing and integrated creative writing for me. In relation to bones, go figure, it worked. With some peers he did supplemental tutoring that not only helped them after school, but really set them straight in life. There was a group of boys who were “going astray” and Mr. Brown set them straight and one told me he wouldn’t be so successful today without the tough wake up call he got from Mr. Brown.

    Alas, Mr. Brown only taught one year because he went off to Yale for his masters degree. The post about TFA combined with reading great teacher posts made me think of Mr. Brown. 30 years later to today, he probably would have been a TFA teacher. For me, that one year was magical and for others in the class it was life changing. So, if a classroom of kids gets a teacher like this, I don’t care if it is TFA or a veteran.

    Other teachers are faint memories like CarolA’s coffee mug, but were fine. It is funny because it seems people vividly remember the “best” and the “worst”, if you have had either in those categories.

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  August 25, 2012 at 10:40 am

    haha, glad you like the pictures. It was either that or Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.” :0

  • 7. HS Mom  |  August 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    My son has had many great teachers. The one that stands out the most was his 4th grade teacher. I can genuinely describe her as a mentor and life guide. Her manner was nurturing and caring yet she was firm with the kids and professional. She was awesome with math and after my son got a 99 on the math ISAT he explained that it was “because she was a math expert”. She “got” him (and the other kids too). She would often make comments that she understood why he was meticulous and took time to do something because she was that way too. She had rules (homework had stiff penalties for not being done) but at the same time encouraged free expression and helped kids find and build on their individual talents. She had a much anticipated “Fabulous Friday” where the class took time out to do a craft (they made piggy banks to learn about saving money), make a treat, or act out a play. (note: I’m sure this stuff came out of her own money and material donations that she actively pursued). She is fondly remembered. We were fortunate to have her impact in our sons life.

    Send notes, even little informal thank-yous, to good teachers to let them know. Give the principal a testimonial letter at the end of the year for great teachers. Budget Christmas gift – a gently used book that your child has read and enjoyed with a dedication from your child. Great for the class library.

    As a parent who understands the immense impact of good teaching, I am an advocate of a teacher evaluation system that rewards teachers for real performance, working in challenging conditions and going above and beyond.

  • 8. anonymouse teacher  |  August 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I posted one other on a different thread, but I am so thankful for a teaching colleague of mine. She is coaching me through some new techniques that are known to be highly successful. I appreciate her so much. She runs multiple small groups at once, giving each child individual attention several times a week with in depth individual reading conferences. She has helped us all with implementing RTI. And thanks, too, to the bilingual push in teacher who helped me make sure RTI interventions were possible with her as a second resource. There is no way I could ever have gotten to all my students without her help. We drew up strategy groups based on the needs of each kid in the class, divided kids up into groups and met with them all. Thanks L!

  • 9. Chicago Mama  |  August 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Miss Curley, 2nd grade circa 1981. She was old-school and managed to outlast the progressive teaching methods of the 1970s, and she ran her classroom with integrity and respect for her students. We had a cloak room and individual desks. One kid broke his arm and another kid broke her leg, so they had to stay in for recess in winter and I remember we took turns staying in with them. She did read alouds – we read along in individual copies of Charlotte’s Web while she read out loud. I remember I once discovered where she lived when we went trick or treating in her condo building. To this day, I have a hard time saying the word “cop” because she corrected one of my fellow students in his cops and robbers story by telling him it’s disrespectful to call police officers anything but that.

    Ms. White in 4-6th. She ran the district wide pullout gifted program and the kids thought she was strange because she was married and went by “Ms.” I thought she was great, and she was a teacher who recognized that I’d be a great leader if I only believed in myself.

  • 10. Formerly working mom  |  August 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    My child attended kindergarten at a school where he was in the minority. A few of the kids in his class told him they didn’t like his skin color, which made him feel hurt, self conscious and confused. His Teacher and Principal talked to him because he’d been crying at school because of the comments made to him. His Teacher went a step further and arranged “parent/child” reading night for her classroom. Several parents attended and the featured book was titled “The skin you live in”. She read the book aloud and engaged us in a discussion on the topic and provided handouts on literacy/reading strategies we could use at home with our children. Each parent received a brand new copy of the book. I am grateful for her efforts to introduce tolerance, diversity and reading strategies all rolled up in one. I think her goal was to increase awareness among us parents so that we can teach our children, since education starts in the home. As the school year progressed, my child became best friends with one of the children who made the comment. My child no longer wants to change his skin color and is proud of who he is. Thank you Ms. A.S

  • 11. RL Julia  |  August 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    There are too many wonderful teachers to name but my son’s Kindergarten and first grade teacher (who was also my daughter’s first grade teacher) is a family favorite. It was she who pointed out that while my son was academically advanced in kindergarten that he might spend his time in the classroom learning how to make it through a morning without crying and maybe talk to a few of the other kids… and then arranged for him to get pulled out three times a week for extra reading. This same teacher rolled up with the class into first grade and made sure that she identified other kids in the grade who were also good readers so that he wouldn’t be the only one – thus teaching me that no matter how bright you might think your own kid is, there are always other bright kids who might not be identified as such but who could be challenged to do the work. A year later, this same teacher sat with us and my daughter’s kindergarten teacher and honestly told us that she thought our daughter would be eaten alive in her first grade classroom and that it was a terrible idea to have her leave the kindergarten classroom to go to first grade for math a few days a week – but she was welcome if that’s what we wanted – and then six weeks later just as passionately advocated that she be skipped into her first grade because she had made plenty of friends (whose parents this teacher made a point of introducing us to), could do the work and obviously belonged in first grade. I remember volunteering once in her classroom and her telling the class that there was three minutes until recess and then organized them to do two minutes of reading (which is probably the right amount of reading for a first grader anyway). Amazing. At the end of each year, she made a beautiful portfolio cataloging each child’s work and growth over the year – and inevitably burst into tears when her class left for the summer (although she’s wait until the kids left),

  • 12. CarolA  |  August 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Sadly, I have forgotten the name of the teacher I fondly remember from high school, but his actions will always bring a smile to my face and I am forever grateful he went above and beyond on my behalf. I was in an English class where the teacher was explaining something that didn’t make any sense to me. When I raised my hand and questioned what he was saying, he tore me apart like an old rag. Looking back, it was probably just a really bad day and I was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but he still should have controlled himself. I felt terrible and left that class in tears. The next period was Algebra-Trig and we were having a big test. The teacher could see I was out of sorts and asked me if there was a problem. Of course, I said no and continued on with the test. He just knew there was a problem and called me out into the hallway. I broke down and told him the whole story. He said I could skip the test, but I didn’t. I thought that was the end of it. Ironically, I had a previous commitment for a conference later that day with the original English teacher who upset me so much earlier. I debated whether to go or not, but sucked it up and went. I walked in and his first words were: I’m surprised to see you here. I thought you wouldn’t show. I can’t tell you much after that, but he told me that my Algebra-Trig teacher had taken the time to find him and talk to him to let him know how upset I was and that the situation should have been handled differently. I was so grateful that he took the time on my behalf to let the English teacher know. Things were never the same for me in the English class and the teacher knew it. I never said a word anymore in his class. However, I was all smiles in the math class. Thanks Mr.__________! You are remembered!

  • 13. Mayfair Dad  |  August 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Many of you might recognize the name Tom Morello – guitarist for the group Rage Against The Machine and a pro-union activist. I had his mom Mary Morello for high school Social Studies in the mid-70s. There must have been an actual lesson plan but all I remember is her sitting on the edge of her desk talking about the 60s, the civil rights movement, protesting against the war in Viet Nam. She was very well read and a world traveler. Everybody got an A. My first authentic hippy teacher.

  • […] The Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Thread cpsobsessed:  My all time favorite teacher was 1972 in Gary Indiana. Our teacher made the class fun, vibrant, interesting and even made flashcard learning enjoyable. She taught a bunch of us (even boys!) to crochet by staying in the classroom during lunch hour for those of us who wanted to partake. I remember her being kind and fair. window.gallery_images = [ { src: "", caption: "" }, ]; ◄ Previous Next ► Advertisement: […]

  • 15. Rahm to the rescue? | ChicagoNow  |  August 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

    […] The Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Thread cpsobsessed:  My all time favorite teacher was 1972 in Gary Indiana. Our teacher made the class fun, vibrant, interesting and even made flashcard learning enjoyable. She taught a bunch of us (even boys!) to crochet by staying in the classroom during lunch hour for those of us who wanted to partake. I remember her being kind and fair. […]

  • 16. Falconergrad  |  August 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    There have been a lot of good teachers in my life. A few from Falconer:

    Miss Lobosco (don’t think she became the principal of Lane Tech but would love to know if it is the same person; went to church for her wedding the summer after she taught us in kindergarten- imagine seeing your beautiful young lady teacher in her wedding dress!; she would drive down our street in her VW Bug and stop and say hi; she sparked a lifelong love of reading)
    Ms. King
    Ms. Conway
    Ms. Streeter (sp?)
    Miss O’Grady (school librarian)
    Miss Sullivan
    Mr. Arthur
    VP Mr. Tecktiel

    Miss O’Grady often saved the new books for me and my sister. She knew we had already read a lot of the other books and we would trade books when we were done with ours.

  • 17. Linda Erikson  |  August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Gage Park Grammar School. 1954. Kindergarten. Kathryn Ruberry.
    What a wonderful first school experience! She is the reason I become a teacher. I still remember a trip to Hawthorne Melody Farm, Red Rover, Bluebird Bluebird, Dick and Jane and many more memories! No stress teaching and learning.

  • 18. Todd Pytel  |  August 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I had so many great teachers… they inspired me to go into teaching myself and many still serve as exemplars to me today. It’s a terrible injustice to describe just 3 of them (from Maine South HS in the early 90’s) along with what they mean to me as a teacher now. This turned out pretty epic, but I’m also using it to think carefully about my own goals for my instruction this year. Sorry for the length…

    Bob Schultz – My AP US History teacher. He exemplifies knowledge, experience, and reflection. We had him for his final year before retirement, and everything he did, said, and assigned reflected 35 years of careful thinking and refinement. He was kind of an odd guy personally, not the type that a bunch of 17 year olds immediately latch on to. But every single student in that class recognized the effort and thought that he put into his work with us. And he expected the same from us, with assignments and questions that required us to build and defend complex arguments and to assemble individuals facts and ideas into a coherent bigger picture. I hope that I can one day be as skilled at teaching math as Mr. Schultz was at teaching history.

    Jack Marino – My physics teacher (and still teaching at MS today). He exemplifies intellectual curiosity and genuine love of learning. His assignment on day one was to write a list of 10 things about science, nature, or technology that we wondered about. I wondered how a digital clock “knew” how long a second should be (hint: capacitors, though I had no idea at the time). While his teaching (back then, at least – he was a fairly new teacher) was pretty by-the-book, he practically exuded enthusiasm through his skin. For every new idea we learned, there were always three more that he would allude to, saying how cool it would be when we found out about *that*. I’ll also never forget him bringing in his guitar and performing Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” for us. If you’ve never faced down a room of 30 teenagers, you can’t imagine the courage and self-confidence that takes.

    Michael Pressler – My band director, now the principal at Maine East. He exemplifies setting high standards and gently but relentlessly pushing students to meet them. Apart from a few students aspiring to be professional musicians, band for most us had just been an easy, fun class and something to put on our college applications. Well, Mr. P replaced the retiring director and quickly disabused us of those notions. The fact that he taught band only made the bigger point more clear to me – no matter what you were doing, take it seriously, learn from the best, set goals for yourself, and work hard every minute to meet them. He was especially good at little asides to students who were drifting off track – always spoken with understanding, never mean-spirited, but clearly communicating that he expected better from us. My favorite, when a student was chatting instead of playing… “You’ve got to blow really hard to hit the right note when the horn’s not in your mouth.”

    There are so many more… Krista Clarke, Charlie Francis, Don Kerr, Bob Hunt, Ed Bleeden, Pat Feichter, Cheryl Doane, Tommie Brey, Tony Vacca… I hope no one that I didn’t mention reads this, because so many were so good.

    More than anything, the current environment of budget-slashing, teacher-bashing, and test-prepping makes me fear that I’ll never be able to live up to their examples. It’s tough enough to do so in the first place.

    Todd Pytel
    Mathematics Department Chair
    Senn High School

  • 19. IB obsessed  |  August 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Ticket give away! I am donating an admission to this fundraiser for IL Raise Your Hand :
    Come out and get dangerously informed! Mayoral Tutorial Don Washington will host an Interactive, Agitational, Informational, Educational, Satirical Town Hall Meeting: The State of Public Education Issues in Emanuel Land – Tuesday August 28th, 7pm at the Heartland Cafe – 7000 N. Glenwood.
    This is going to be fun evening with parents, teachers and citizens from around Chicago who care about our schools. We’ll be playing games, learning things, taunting the powerful and answering lots of questions about public education!
    The Mayoral Tutorial believes that democracy is both a contact sport and a participatory activity. Visit the website: for more info.
    Yes, it’s tomorrow night. 1st taker to email me at gets in free. Be sure to leave me your full name.

  • 20. sen  |  August 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I would like to thank Ms. Noesen and Ms. Gilkerson. I loved to color in Ms. Noesen’s third grade class!!! Third graders don’t color in class anymore. Ms. Gilkerson was an awesome geometry teacher at our small Catholic H.S. I heard she eventually left for Lane Tech. I thought good, she deserves more money!!! With all the national election rhetoric being tossed back and forth I have an idea. It should not be business people who get a capital gains tax break of 15%, rather the teachers of this country should have their income taxed at a lower rate for the job they do and how little respect they get(this thread about appreciation has 19 comments in 3 days, the strike one had over 300 in three days!!!!!). I am not a teacher, I am actually a nurse who sees a lot of similarities between the two professions. I imagine my pay being based on my patient outcomes when I have no control over the patients I care for. Will I get the baby of a drug addict with no prenatal care or the baby of the women who took her prenatals and saw her doctor?

  • 21. Frank  |  August 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    High school freshman lit. I had the unlucky draw of pulling my mom! Oh how I dreaded it. Turns out, she was amazing. For the first time I understood why teaching seems to come first to her. I fell in love with literature, teaching, and my mom all over again that year. She was tough, but fair. I got a B. my only B in four years of high school.

  • 22. Frank  |  August 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Oops….seemed. Past tense. I guess the B was justified. Lol

  • 23. Frank  |  August 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Amen @20. Where is the teacher love?

  • 24. IB mom  |  August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    For me, Mrs. Moeller in 5th grade stands out. She had to be just a few years from retirement and knew exactly how to keep the students in line and respectful. That said, she knew how to make learning fun and encourage the best in all of her students: we did spelling bees and played buzz (math game). Every Monday we wrote a composition on a specific topic and we received two grades: one for content and one for grammar. If both were “E” (excellent) we read composition aloud to the class. I quickly got over my fear of public speaking doing this. It was fun! Even diagramming sentences was something to look forward as we got to write them on the clear plastic sheets using colorful markers for the overhead projector (for those who remember them!)
    For my son, Ms. Chiavira and her student teaching assistant in 2nd grade. He is a sensitive kid and lets things bother him that other kids wouldn’t think of twice. They both recognized this and engaged him in learning while also diverting him from his (what frankly could be seen as ridiculous) concerns. I recall my son excitedly telling me about talks he had with them about the universe. Their patience and concern, not to mention enthusiasm for teaching, really moved me.

  • 25. JustanotherCPSparent  |  August 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I’ve got to give a shout out to Mr. Matsumoto at Edison RGC. That man is a godsend! My child’s favorite subject has always been science. For years, he wanted more, more, more, but was bored to tears with previous science teachers. In Mr.M, my kid finally has a science teacher who challenges him while keeping it fun. I love that Mr.M makes the kids work for their rewards, which are more advanced labs…bless him, he’s found a way to make kids work for more work. Genius! My child respects and admires him – thats a pretty big deal, especially for a middle school aged kid.

  • 26. jusand  |  August 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I love my son’s kindergarten teacher, Mr. Schrauben! He was the best!!

  • 27. HS Mom  |  September 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Since we’re going down memory lane here…

    I would like to remember a great human being and the principal of my elementary school that I was honored to have. We went to a CPS school called Clara Barton on the south side of Chicago during the 60’s and early 70’s. Our principal was Mr. Rudolph Jezek.
    He was a very dignified, well respected educator. He ran a tight ship at a school that had many challenges – class sizes well over 40 with overcrowded split grade classrooms, racial tension and a wide range of student abilities. Although he was a busy man, we saw him everywhere. In the halls (better not slide down that banister), on the playground, his presence was always felt. One time I was chewing on one of those Cracker Jack rings in class and swallowed the stone (maybe in 3rd grade as I recall). I thought I was going to die, tears flowing. The teacher not knowing what to do took me to the office. Mr. Jezek came up to me on the bench, asked me why I was crying and told me not to worry. He gave me a piece of bread to eat which I thought was just the magic cure all and told me I could stay there as long as I needed to. Funny the things you remember. Fortunately, I did not have to visit the principal’s office much, but always thought of him as a very kind man, a real father figure. He was the type of person that did not rule by fear, if anything, you didn’t want to disappoint him. My mother knew him well because she was involved in the PTA. I remember when my mother would get dressed up to go to PTA meetings, back when they were held in the auditorium because so many mothers attended. There were so many programs at our school – assembly performances, award ceremonies, school wide Halloween costume contests, holiday parties, school plays, and music. My parents admired Mr. Jezek greatly for the way he managed the school and we respected his authority.

    As things would go on the south side, my family moved to the suburbs. We didn’t want to, we were literally the last white family on the block but my father said it was time to go once he started seeing the gang graffiti in the neighborhood. What would come as we were safe in our suburban subdivision (uggh) and I was in high school (1974). Mr. Jezek was shot and killed by a student brandishing 2 guns. As I recall from the news story, he was stalked and killed and the student went on to shoot another teacher (that lived) and was on his way to get another one when he was captured.

    He did not deserve to die that way – hunted like an animal. After all his years of service and dedication to kids he was handed the ultimate disrespect and his family a life of sorrow.

    Here’s to you Mr. Jezek in 2012. We still remember you. We still miss you and feel your loss.

  • 28. OutsideLookingIn  |  September 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    HS Mom – I like what you said about educators whom you respect and admire so much that you do not wish to disappoint them. Those are the teachers I remember most fondly. So sorry that this wonderful man you described died in such a violent way.

  • 29. Just Sayin'  |  September 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I always excelled in English class. My sophomore year in high school, I ran into my freshman-year teacher in the hallway, and she asked how things were going. Then she said, “I hear from Mrs. Miller that you could be doing better in her class. What’s up?” I was dumbfounded; I had been earning all A’s from Mrs. Miller, and this was news to me. I confronted Mrs. Miller about it, and she was unrepentant. She explained to me that just because I was capable of A’s didn’t mean that I was working to my utmost potential, and that she felt I was working just hard enough to get the A’s, rather than pushing myself to learn. Only later, in college and then in graduate school, did I appreciate what she did for me and I certainly never would have earned my Ph.D. without the work ethic that she instilled. Thanks, Mrs. Miller!

  • 30. HS Mom  |  September 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    @28 – Thanks for your kind words. Yes, his demeanor, like other great teachers, had the effect of bringing out the best in a child. I’m glad you could relate.

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  • 32. Darryl  |  January 7, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Wow. Some one actually remembers Clara Barton, and Dr. Jezek! But first let me state that my name is Darryl L. I have two older brothers, one older sister, as well as one younger sister. We all attended Clara Barton. I attended between 1972-1982. You see, I was in second grade when this very sad event happened! I will never, ever, Forget that day as long as I live! I am 46 now. Artist, and sub teacher for CPS. It was a grey rainy day. We used to get our bag lunches ( chokes) from the auditorium, right before the new building was built. I had the honor and the priveledge, of being one of the first kids, to utilize the new buillding, as wellas the first Hot lunches! Lol. Right?!? The new building only went from first to about third grade, 1972. Lo Now lets go a little deeper … After he shot Dr. Jezek, he was looking for more, but Mr. Johnson intercepted him, he was shot but not killed, then mr. Holmes wrestled the student down the stairs, he was also shot, but lived! And then they subdued the student!

  • 33. Darryl  |  January 7, 2014 at 3:40 am


    Now all of this, including the senseless murder, was only because the student was not allowed to graduate with his class. His father was a policeman, so thats when he went home and got his fathers guns, father wasnt there. My Kindergarten teacher, ms. smith, my first grade teacher, Ms. Crawford, my second grade teacher Ms.Lavern, my third grade teacher, mrs. West, etc … And you are very, very correct, he was a gentle, kind, loving, concerned man! And he did not deserve to die in that manner He was well loved by all! Although I was very young at the time, I am extremely gifted with memory, and stayed at Barton for 9 more years! My mother has every last picture that we ever took at Barton, I am very confident, that it would take you down memoy lane, with tears! Just let me know. In closing, thank you for honoring our falling principal,and I salute you Dr. Jezek, for a job well done! Rest in beautiful, and perfect peace.

    Darryl L.

  • 34. HS Mom  |  January 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Darryl – that was me. I was in high school when Dr. Jezek was killed and went to Barton for 5 years of grammar school. I’m so glad to hear that someone else remembers this wonderful man and this sad event. I had Mr. Holmes for 5th grade. I had also heard the PE teacher, Mr. Walsh and the science teacher, Mr. Sharp were involved. Interesting that you now work in teaching for CPS. Thanks for sharing.

    One other issue that arose from this incident was the concern about class size. At the time, class rooms sometimes had over 50 students. This factor was attributed to having caused the failure of the student contributing to the eventual emotional time-bomb.

    We were impacted directly, having gone to the school, but as I recall it was simply a blurb in the news and quickly went into obscurity. You are right, the kid was headed for others when he was stopped. You hear about other schools nationwide and the gun violence but the little known fact is that we have our own CPS history.

  • 35. Darryl  |  January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm


    Mr. Walsh, the gym teacher! 50 push ups buddy! Lol. Ms Dillon the Libarian, Ms. O Donald, the assistant Principal! Lol! Wow!!! Officer Friendly, stopped by with coloring books every now and then! You probably graduated from Barton, with my oldest sister! Like I said, we have every picture, and Im sure you are on at least one of them, if not all of them! I have been searching this issue for a very long time, glad, and very fortunate to hear your input on this matter. Please stay in touch.


  • 36. Darryl  |  January 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    So true, so true!!! We were dramatized behind that! Like you said, it just simply went a way, very quickly. If not the first, it was definately one of the first school shooting! Dinosaur archives!

    And, yes … That sad situation, those were still considered the good ol days! Kool aide stands ( not ice cups) every block you walk by has a back door candy store! Eg; jolly ranchers, funfaces, now @ laters, big bols, buds daddys, lemon heads, nut chews, pal gum, sour cherries, charms suckers, charms blow pops, long daddys, all candy bars, fruit stripes, Adams Gum …etc, …

    Darryl L.

  • 37. HS Mom  |  January 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Now you’re cracking me up! If you have a disposable e-mail, I’ll drop a note.

  • 38. Darryl  |  January 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    HS MOM ,
    I didnt undersatand what you meant by disposable email, please elaborate, but… I forgot to tell you, about 4 years ago, I substituted at Barton! Lol!!! Now that was mind blowing!!! Remembering everythin we discussed, as wellas I went to Barton, from Kindergarten, all the way up to eighth grade graduate. That was an experience. Lol

    Question; Are you on facebook? I had closed mine from boardom, but I can bring it back up. Glad I tickled you.

    I would like to leave you with this; Funtown, Funtown , for the kids and you … 95th in Stoney Island Avenue … Funtown !!! Take care, Lol !!!

  • 39. Darryl  |  January 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Ms mom.

  • 40. Darryl  |  January 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Ms, mom.
    I guess by now you figured out that I am an Afro American. The caucasions had moved out a very long time ago, when I graduated. And it was not because of graffitti, it was a movement from the caucasions called, white flight. Caucasions did not want to intergrate with the afrro americans. Dr. Rev. MArtin Luther King had only been dead for, four years at that time.. But, my Mother has every picture from Barton,,, you tell me which row, as well as which teacher, as well as which date, I promise you I will tell you, what you was wearing, as well as what year, and teacher. I will just give you your initials, ok?!? Lol!!! Take care .

  • 41. Christopher T Sawyer  |  September 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I remember Mr. Jezek. I thought it was Dr but I dunno. I was in room 104 and sat next to a girl named Kimberly. I was in the 4th grade.
    The shooter was Stephen Guy, and from my memory someone shouted GET OUT OF HERE and the shooting started.
    Rudolph Jezek was one of the kindest principals I knew. Well liked. Very well liked. I will never forget that day. I was in the 4th grade, and I liked him a lot and will remember him to the end of my days.

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