Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Think about the best teachers you’ve had in your lifetime. Teachers inspire you to go beyond what is required. They teach you life lessons. They are people who give you a love of learning.

Mr. Wilson had a law degree when he was my 7th Grade teacher at St. Luke’s in Lakewood, Ohio. He was teaching a religion class but the most valuable lesson he offered was a study method he called SQ3R (Study, Question, Read, Write and Review). By following Mr. Wilson’s system you couldn’t help but learn. (That’s an eye opener in seventh grade! Well, it was for me.)

Dom Battalglia was my High School instructor in commercial art. He demonstrated the importance of delivering on time and being able to articulate how your solution matched the assignment. Practical work stuff.

Coach Cousineau believed in me in High School. He recognized me as a team leader. I wasn’t the biggest, toughest or most talented. Coach Cousineau’s son (Tom) played high school football for St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio and was one of the most highly-recruited football players in the country in his senior year. Unlike his son, I didn’t go on to play college and professional football but I learned a lot in the course of our 8-2 season. Lesson: even ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. Go Rangers!

Gene Massin taught drawing classes at the University of Miami. Something he repeated often inspired the artist in us all. “Maybe you came here to learn to draw. I am not going to teach you to draw. I’m going to teach you something more important. I am going to teach you to SEE.” An so he did.

Lester Goran taught creative writing and literature classes at the University of Miami. His lessons on story-telling and how to engage readers were reinforced with examples from classic literature. It was Professor Goran who encouraged me to pursue the position of associate editor of my college yearbook. That vote of confidence meant a lot coming from him.  

Teachers, coaches and mentors with the greatest impact go above and beyond the scope of the coursework. Consider those personal heroes in your life: The teachers, role models and the lessons you take with you.  Be inspired and inspire.

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