Class Notes Submitted in May, 2013

Patsy Gochenour (M.Ed. ’71, Ed.S. ’86 Reading) Patsy GochenourAfter graduating from Madison College in June of 1957, I started my teaching career at Virginia Avenue Elementary School in my hometown of Winchester, Va. I taught second grade for 14 years until the Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act came into existence. At that time, the Winchester School System wanted a reading teacher for this program; therefore, I helped to open up the new John Kerr Elementary School in 1972-73 as a reading specialist (I had attended the old JKE as a student). (more…)

Patsy Gochenour's Curry Memory

“On the first night of class, Dr. Henderson asked his students to define ‘reading and how one might teach a person to read.’ Of course, you can imagine how many different answers he received, especially since the class was mostly made up of elementary school teachers. To this day, I can still recall the lengthy class discussion we had and Dr. Henderson smiling as we tried to define reading but using far too many words. It was only at the end of class that he went to the blackboard and wrote, ‘Reading is a cognitive process. It is not what you get from the page but rather what you bring to the page to interact with the page.’”

Robert F. Jackson, Jr. (B.S. ’70) retired early from teaching, having focused most of that time on middle school social studies. “I was blessed to be able to teach on the college level for a few years in the Philippines, my wife’s homeland and historically America’s largest and farthest former colony. Living there during the Marcos years was an educational experience for a social studies teacher. I coached college level women’s volleyball in the Islands as well. Leaving teaching was not really retirement but a career change.

Bob and Maria Jackson
Painting of Bob and his wife Maria by their daughter Sonia Jackson Summers

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Robert F. Jackson, Jr.'s Curry Memory

“For me, one who reveled in the student experience, my fondest memories entailed simply the classroom experience and the discussions in the student center over meals. Teaching was not my primary calling, though it fit me and I, it to a degree. Therefore, I took no special pleasure from student teaching or observations. The total experience was what mattered, with debate and discussion sticking in my mind even until today.”

Joyce Knox (M.Ed. ’70) My husband John and I were already teaching in Virginia when we became interested in the Curry School of Education through extension classes in Richmond. We then took classes in Charlottesville at nights and in the summers. John took off a year from teaching to finish his master’s degree from Curry. I lived on Grounds one summer to complete mine, and we both graduated in 1970.

What a wonderful experience.  I learned subject matter, but I really learned that you should expect the best from people, and you usually succeeded with that plan.  Most of my fellow students were men, as this was in the late 60’s. Even for field trips to the ocean or through caves they wore ties.  People were honest and looked out for one another.  I used the lessons I learned throughout the rest of my teaching career. (more…)

Linda Karen Miller (M.Ed. ’78, Ed.D. ’91 Soc Studies Ed) Linda MillerWhen I was three I donned my first costume and “acted” as a cowgirl in a tap dance revue. It was enough to put the acting bug in my genes and I took drama classes in high school and college. Throughout my forty-year teaching career in Kansas, Virginia and Nevada I frequently dressed as historical characters in class and also had my students perform activities where they made history come alive through historical interpretation.

This was such a useful teaching technique that it earned me two national teacher of the year awards, one from the Organization of American Historians for American History and one from the National Council for the Social Studies, both in 1996. I saw that the students learned more when they were personally involved in the characters’ lives. In 2006 I published an e-book, “Put a Little Acting Into Your Teaching” that chronicled many activities that my students and I performed in from 1986 until the present. (more…)

Maryanne Preston (B.S. ’58)

Maryanne attended the 2013 TJ Society Luncheon at the Curry School.
Maryanne attended the 2013 TJ Society Luncheon at the Curry School.

“After retiring from 35 years of teaching, mostly in Texas, I embarked upon a second career ten years ago as registrar and membership director in the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas. I curated two shows of artists I visited and discovered in Bratislava and New Zealand, the latter of which holds particular fascination for me because my three grandchildren live there. I have traveled to New Zealand nine times!”

James Harding Siske (M.Ed. ’56, Ph.D. ’56 Couns Ed) has just renewed his substitute teaching certification for 2014 in Greensboro/Guilford County, NC. There are around 135 schools in the county, and they need around 200 substitute teachers each day. At age 85 I am the oldest ever. My U.Va. roots are deep. I have lived in 33 West Range and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity house. While doing my doctoral studies, I was employed as a teacher at the new Burnley-Moran School. Fellow doctoral student Henry Sublett was principal and Robert Wilson of Keswick was the coach.

Jim attended the 2013 TJ Society Luncheon at the Curry School.
Jim attended the 2013 TJ Society Luncheon at the Curry School.

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B. Charlene Wiser (B.S. ’58 Elem Ed)

Charlene attended the Curry School luncheon during the 2013 TJ Society Reunion.
Charlene attended the Curry School luncheon during the 2013 TJ Society Reunion.

Upon graduation in ’58, I taught for two years in Fairfax County, Va., before teaching for the Department of Defense in Germany. I married a career Army officer, Robert Wiser (M.Ed. ’65 Educ). Two of our three children graduated from U.Va. Since my husband passed, I have had the pleasure of my younger son, Jim (Col ’92) accompanying me to four class reunions. What an enjoyable time I had attending the many events at the 55th Reunion and connecting with classmates.