May 22, 2015

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TERRY BLOOMBERG Executive director of Developmental Child Care; Women of Achievement Class of 2001 “My most inspiring teacher was my sixth-grade teacher at Ladue (now Reed) School, Lillian Gaeser. Miss Gaeser, in a self-confident way, seemed to reduce her authority to that of an equal with her students. She talked to us as intelligent beings, never lowering her expectations, but never afraid to make mistakes. This gave each of us the courage to be imperfect. “It was tradition at our school that the sixth grade would operate the school store. We had the experience of ordering supplies wholesale from Blackwell-Wielandy. We had to learn to write checks, which skill I have mastered in life. Because it was a ‘real’ store, we were far more motivated to learn what was necessary to operate a real business. She took us to the bank to deposit the funds, and we saw the inside of the safe there. We had to get to school early as the store was open before school, but none of us complained. “I had the privilege of working as a teacher in Ladue. While not at the same elementary school, I did get to interact with her at professionaldevelopment days. I have carried the feelings and the philosophy of her influence into my classroom teaching and as a director.”


Author “Looking back, my most inspirational teachers share a common philosophy with regard to success. As a child, John Lawless was my first piano teacher, followed by the late Sona Haydon and Annie Hsieh Tzeng at Washington University. John Dalton is a (tenured) professor at

the MFA program at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Chuck Tennin is the President of Big Fish Music Publishing in Los Angeles. “First, I learned it was possible to meet high standards—if you worked very, very, very hard. Success is always possible, Sona said to me. But, you have to earn it. She was always in search of improvement. I can get more out of you, she would say, with a twinkle in her eye. Or, as Chuck says, Anything can be made better. “John Dalton presents literary fiction and writing techniques with a unique voice and relentless enthusiasm. I generally prefer to write stories in the mystery genre, and the influence of literary fiction infused my stories with a richness that would not have existed prior to this instruction. “All of these people taught me to push myself to do the things that I didn’t think I could do. They all shared a common philosophy: To push oneself to do what is uncomfortable makes dreams come true. Learning doesn’t stop in school. It should continue through your life.”

BOB COHN Editor-in-Chief emeritus, St. Louis Jewish Light “I have been blessed with many inspirational, caring and mentoring teachers through the years. It would be impossible to list them all. Some of those who had the greatest influence on me included my history teachers at University City High School, including the late Dr. Walter Ehrlich and Mr. Wesley Kettelkamp, who influenced me to love history and to continue to study it and

ExcellTwo Gener ence & ations Comm of itmen t

ARLEN CHALEFF Chair, St. Louis Campaign, Hatebrakers “One who comes to mind is Bradford Jennings, one of my English teachers in the Clayton school system. He brought out creativity in all of us. He would say “the Chaleff trademark” about certain things and said it so positively. He was very creative and eccentric. In college at Washington University, I was in a large political science class and somehow set the curve for a major test in a room of 400 people. I worked hard on it. When I got my grades, the professor gave me a B+ in the course. Though he was not really an approachable teacher, I went up to him and told him I thought I deserved an A-. I later found out that he did change my grade. That made me realize that I can be persistent with things I believe in, and I always carry that with me.”

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write about it years later. “Also of great influence were Mr. Wallace Klein, who taught English while I was at U. City, and in post-graduation years helped alumni plan class reunions. I had many fine teachers at the Religious School at Congregation Shaare Emeth, including the late Rabbi Julius Gordon and the late Mr. Ira Fleischmann, both of whom taught us with respect and shared information of lasting value. At Washington University, the late Professor Burton Wheeler was my inspirational English composition teacher, who encouraged and nurtured my writing ability, and who later served as my adviser. “There was also the late political science Professor Victor Le Vine, who taught me about the various nations, cultures, religions and ethnic groups in the Middle East and in Africa.”

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