The twenty members of our class had numerous reservations
about being promoted from the sixth grade and making the transition from the
sheltered hallway of the elementary classes, to the seemingly grown-up jungle of
the high school. Although we were considered junior-high students, we were
expected to share the space with the senior scholars.
One anxiety about the promotion to the high school corridor was the actuality
that one lady in particular, dominated that segment of the school, with an iron
fist. A stern disciplinarian, she subscribed to a strict system of deportment;
disruption of the learning process was not tolerated.
Promotion to that domain meant dealing with her everyday; although she was not
assigned to hall duty; she considered it in her realm of responsibility. Even
more frightening than encountering her in the corridor was the knowledge that in
two years, she was destined to become one of our instructors; she taught the
required preparatory English courses.
Before long we discovered a plethora of particulars about the formidable
character that not only taught English, but was the instructor for French,
Speech and Journalism. Her dedication to teaching caused her, during the summer
break, to attend a gathering for language instructors that required the
participants to speak French during the entire two-week long experience.
She served as the Advisor for the Senior Beta Club, and was the motivating force
behind the contestants who competed in regional and statewide competitions. It
was rumored that she didn't embrace tradition when choosing contestants for the
literary meets; she frequently selected an unlikely candidate and then
voluntarily became their coach.
She found time in a complicated schedule to assist students, encourage
individuals, and inspire her peers; she was more than a teacher; she was a
mentor and a guidance counselor.
Our journey through middle school passed quickly and that September we faced two
seemingly invincible obstacles, high school courses and Mrs. Elizabeth L.
More to follow..