A Tale of Two Teachers, Part 2: They Got It Right

After a personal introduction last time, I promised we would speak of Hadleyburg (not its real name), and so we shall.

Last year, about this time, the administrators at Hadleyburg Valley High School (HVHS) needed to find a new math teacher for the coming (now the current) academic year. They didn’t just post the job, then sit back and wait for whatever applications might come in. Their commitment to their students and to academic excellence demanded more. They went out looking for the right candidate.

They found a teacher who was highly regarded not only for his mastery of math and math curricula and his creative command of the teacher’s art, but also for his diligence and his care for each student. They persuaded him to leave his comfortable position in the big city, move his family to Hadleyburg, and take the job.

A Tale of Two Teachers, Part 1: Teachers Are Heroes

Within a few hours’ drive of my small city is a much smaller town. I’ll call it Hadleyburg. That’s not its name, but I read of a noteworthy town by that name in Mark Twain (which wasn’t Samuel Clemens’ real name either, but I digress).

Human nature varies little from place to place, so Hadleyburg’s location probably doesn’t matter. And perhaps its size matters only to the extent that it is large enough to have its own high school. We will call that institution Hadleyburg Valley High School, because we have to call it something.

My major purpose today is to describe the vantage point from which I will tell my tale. That vantage point may not be precisely what you might suppose, if you know my politics.

My title tells you that my theme includes some happiness. Since long before the iPad first twinkled in Steve Jobs’ eye, I have enjoyed hearing and talking about great teachers. I had my share in the public schools. There are plenty more in the public schools my children attend. I’ve tried sometimes to find ways to thank and honor them, publicly and privately.