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MAST Academy provides a marine setting and a nurturing environment for studies leading to academic success, career preparation, an appreciation of the sea, and environmental awareness. Stakeholders work together to instill a commitment to life-long learning and to advance and improve a challenging curriculum integrated with sciences and technology.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life's Voyage - Celebrating Mr. John Ruppel

Last week our MAST family said good-bye to John Ruppel, one of the most amazing teachers I have ever known. There are so many Ruppel stories and so many people who could share them. John is someone who touched us all and just to have worked with him a short time is to have learned and grown tremendously. The legacy of who he was and what he did is in all of us. MAST as a school and a community is what it is for much of who he was - an experience unto itself.

Last Friday we had an absolutely wonderful celebration for John. IT could not have been any better. There with family, friends, colleagues, and students, MAST was once again alive with John's presence. A more fitting tribute and farewell, I do not believe, there could have been. Thank you to everyone who came and honored our teacher and friend.

For my part, I might have worked with John for just two short years, but I feel that I have known him for about 12. My wife was lucky enough to be a student of his years back. John's classes and teaching were dinner table discussions many a night. I enjoyed each and every one of those conversations and am richer for having had them.

It is difficult to measure the impact of a teacher sometimes. The true measure goes far beyond a test score. After listening, watching, and speaking with so many about the impact and influence that John has had on us as individual and as a school community, his quote from the paper says it all, "Courtesy of serendipitous waffling between seeking the meaning in life and seeking the fun in life, I opted for both: I became a teacher."

That he certainly did. And we are all thankful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hated that man, so very much. I know most people have positive memories of him, but I can't have positive memories of a man who told me I was only in a school because of Affirmative Action and then bragged about how he could whatever he wanted. He worked double time to make my life miserable and I wished I'd known the kind of man he was before I took his class because I would have given him a wide berth. He was by and far one of the absolute worst teachers I've ever had. I know most people will take offense to this. You were lucky enough to only ever see the good side of the man. I, unfortunately, bore witness to the bad and it was truly bad. I've held on to a lot of negative feelings over the years, especially hearing people sing his praises as though he was without fault. So I'm letting this out in the hopes that I can finally let go of the absolutely hatred, the deep level of disdain, I hold for this man.

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