by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
As I began writing this series of articles, I thought of so many educators who “made a difference” to the students at Grain Valley. Over the past six weeks I have written about six of those teachers, principals, superintendents, and coaches. And, there are so many more who come to my mind that have been great; individuals that left their mark at Grain Valley.
So, today I am asking for your help. If you ever attended grade school or high school in Grain Valley, if your mother or father attended school in Grain Valley, or if your son or daughter attended school in Grain Valley, send me your memories of an educator that “made a difference.” I believe that every teacher did just that for someone. I just don’t know all of the stories. I remember the names; from Noel Wilkerson, Lela Gutherie, Carl Heuman, and Gilbert Temple to Arnold Hibler, Ina B. Hire, and Fern Church. And more recently, Randol Wiggins, Barbara Murray, Tom Hightower, and David Hackett. For everyone I’ve mentioned, there are probably ten more that I’ve forgotten. And, this list does not include anyone from the past 20 years.
I still have a few more on my list, but PLEASE send me a name and a memory. I’ll do the research and write the article (unless, of course, you want to do that, too!). Remember, Yesterday is History.
This photograph was taken in my chemistry class during the 1962-63 school year. The chemistry experiment was conducted by Mr. Randol Wiggins during his third year as a teacher at GVHS. The students in the photo are Diane Harmon, Betty Warfsman, Sandra Wilson, Nancy Norris, Tom Woods, Ron Martin and yours truly. In a high school with only 145 students, Mr. Wiggins was the only teacher for general math, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry and Physics. He was a 1955 graduate of GVHS, Student Council President, and captain and quarterback of the football team, just to name a few of his accomplishments.
If you ask him today, I think he will still remember the day I lit a Bunsen burner and threw the match into an “empty” wastebasket. It actually had chemical residue in it and flames shot up several inches. Luckily, no one was hurt, and the flames were out about as quickly as they ignited, and twice as fast as anyone in the room let me forget about it!
Please share your memory of a favorite teacher. Send it to me online at MLNMIZZOU@gmail.com and I will gladly tell your story! Send a picture if you have one. I look forward to hearing from you.
This photograph was taken in my chemistry class during the 1962-63 school year. The chemistry experiment was conducted by Mr. Randol Wiggins during his third year as a teacher at GVHS. The students in the photo are Diane Harmon, Betty Warfsman, Sandra Wilson, Nancy Norris, Tom Woods, Ron Martin and Marcia Napier. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society