Climb the Mountain & Jump into the World
I guess I’ve been fortunate growing up, to have had great teachers and role models. I don’t recall ever having a bad year in school.To continue with my tribute, I want to share a few more Super Teachers who helped shape me and always gave me so much to think about.
I returned to Harleyville-Ridgeville for 10th grade, back to Orangburg-Wilkinson for 11th grade and then spent my senior year again at H-R, where I also attended the Dorchester County Career School (now the Dorchester County Career & Technology Center). Throughout my twelve years of education, there were many people I respected and admired. All my teachers were super.
Mrs. Branyon — She was my home economics teacher in junior high. Talk about preparing for life outside of school; that was the class to take. We had a mock wedding and baked a tiered wedding cake. My daughter Claire later studied home economics under her, but she had become Mrs. Villeponteaux by then. Now, she lives her dream everyday as the owner and baker of Just Desserts on Main Street in Harleyville.
Unfortunately, this class was only nine-weeks long. The other three quarter periods included P.E., where I learned to play backgammon (wish I had also paid attention to chess); pre-vocation, where I designed the blueprints for my never-to-be-owned “future” home (there was a pool on the roof); and wood shop, where we built birdhouses.
Mrs. Rivers — She was my 10th grade U.S. History teacher. I have always loved history…SC, US, World…and she made her class interesting and fun.
Mrs. Buckner — She was my typing teacher, but she also taught English. Typing was a necessary class then and she was very disciplined. I remember the ruler she carried and looking at the keys was not an option. She was also a very jovial lady. She made us laugh all the time and got along well with her students.
Coach Jake Newton was my algebra 2 teacher, as well as a coach. He was always there for everyone. He and his brother, Stanley, were loved by the entire school of Harleyville-Ridgeville. And, Coach Artie Knight, basketball coach at Orangeburg-Wilkinson. He was originally from Harleyville and had known my stepfather. He always called me “Little Homer.”
Even though their names elude me for the moment, I can’t leave out a few other teachers who were instrumental to my education.
My printing and photography instructor at the career center who taught me the principles of printing and how to work the camera to capture words in pictures. He was a great teacher and it was easy to follow his directions, he had such a passion for his work. He was the kickstart of my career. Even though his name has escaped me, his devotion to teaching shouldn’t be forgotten.
The guidance counselor at DCCS who helped me learn how to block out distractions and how not to blank-out during testing.
My 11th grade geometry teacher who still believed in me when I made an “F” the first nine-weeks and worked with me to achieve a “B+” the second nine-weeks. I had to go back and relearn all those postulates and theorems, but she helped, and I ended the course with an overall “C-.”
All of these tributes have come from my heart and the memories I hold dear, but it would have been nice to come across my year books from those four years. Remembering isn’t as easy as it used to be 32-years-ago, and researching rural school achieves hasn’t caught up to the times, as much as I had hoped. I want to thank Mrs. Cynthia Farmer, Administrative Assistant for the Dorchester County Career and Technology Center. She couldn’t help me remember the names I have forgotten, but it was nice that she knew some of those I’ve spoken of. By the way Mrs. Farmer, I believe his name was Mr. Brunson; I sure hope it’s so.
Be sure to join us tomorrow for my final grade.