Please select your
favorite Teacher below
Ms. Mondon (Smith)
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There is a time in life when you're growing in many ways, all at one
time. If you were lucky, you had a teacher that you respected and; well loved.
I had such a teacher..... Mrs. Mark.|
This woman wasn't an easy teacher. She was going to fail me in Senior English and my mom had to do some tall talking to get her to believe that I had actually LOST my English notebook - and I had. Well I had to make up another notebook and it was a real piece of work and I passed, but this woman was going to fail me and I know she thought the world of me. This was her way of waking me up. She wanted me to start growing in the right directions. So thank you Mrs. Mark, wherever you are. I think of you often and love you lots.
NOTE: John, I had heard that Mrs. Mark, had passed away
during the mid eightie's by complications due to lymphosarcoma. It was sad news to me and
all she taught. She truly was a very special lady.
Polly Beach Martens (74)|
She'll be truly missed by all of her students.
Tony Frink, Class of 1978
My favorite story involved her trips into Mexico to get her laetrile.
Since it was illegal in the U.S., she had to smuggle it back across the
border, which she did by stuffing it in her bra. She said it was a good
thing none of the border guards knew her, because she was a C cup when she
went into Mexico, and she was a DDD when she came back.
I paid many visits to Mrs. Mark's class over the years after I graduated
in '78. She always took time out from her class to visit with me. She was
always after me to stand up for myself. I remember her saying several times
that when it was her time to go, she wasn't going to be buried underground
where people could walk on her - she didn't let anyone do it when she was
alive, and she wasn't going to let them do it when she was gone. When I
found out about her death in 1987, I wrote to her husband Donald for
directions on where she was buried, as I was about to move back to
Minnesota and I wanted to pay my last respects before I moved. And sure
enough, there she was in a mausoleum, interred in the top row below the
ceiling. Even in death she made me smile, for she was true to herself to
the very end.
My favorite story involved her trips into Mexico to get her laetrile. Since it was illegal in the U.S., she had to smuggle it back across the border, which she did by stuffing it in her bra. She said it was a good thing none of the border guards knew her, because she was a C cup when she went into Mexico, and she was a DDD when she came back.
I paid many visits to Mrs. Mark's class over the years after I graduated in '78. She always took time out from her class to visit with me. She was always after me to stand up for myself. I remember her saying several times that when it was her time to go, she wasn't going to be buried underground where people could walk on her - she didn't let anyone do it when she was alive, and she wasn't going to let them do it when she was gone. When I found out about her death in 1987, I wrote to her husband Donald for directions on where she was buried, as I was about to move back to Minnesota and I wanted to pay my last respects before I moved. And sure enough, there she was in a mausoleum, interred in the top row below the ceiling. Even in death she made me smile, for she was true to herself to the very end.
Ray Garza was my father.
I want you all to know much he loved being a teacher, and how honored he was to have touched your lives.
When we were little, he would tell us about his day at 'work'. We thought teachers lived at school, had no families or houses like normal people, so our dad couldn't possibly be a 'real' teacher. That cracked him up, and he went along with it. We got older and realized teaching at Hawthorne High was his 'real' job and his joy.
With his boundless passion for teaching and learning, our dinner conversation was a trip, lots of laughter, word games, etymology, conjugation, Spanish and Latin, comparing grammar, spelling, idiomatic meanings and usage of language, prefixes, suffixes, etc. We talked about Ancient Rome, Harpies and Togas. Dad showed us his students' wild drawings of harpies, (an assignment he gave his Latin classes), and what was up with the Toga Parties? Mom made togas for him to take to school. It was so funny.
A talented, self-taught pianist, mosaicist, gardener, carpenter, cook, and all around cool cat; (tried all the new dances, did a mean Jerk)?he explored everything: made skateboards and skim boards in the early 60's, bonsai trees, landscaping, designed and built furniture, caught crawdads and frogs, grunion on the beach at midnight with 4 squealing little kids, music concerts, art festivals, we even made paper from the papyrus growing in our yard. True story.
A real teacher, indeed, a very cool guy, a great listener, a Renaissance man. (He would have made me change that fragmented sentence). A teacher at home, too, he impressed upon us, and our friends, the importance of reaching for knowledge. Even when struggling with ill health and life's other challenges, he delighted in teaching and learning.
We have tried to carry on his goofy sense of humor, passion for life, and reverence for learning, and have passed those attributes on to our children and grandchildren. I hope, I know, he shared these qualities and lessons with many of you. Thanks for remembering my dad.
He died peacefully at home in December of 1994, his family by his side.
At his service, with enormous pride, I told the gathering that he had given me the key to a joyous bountiful life, and how these words continue to sound in my heart:
"Always remain teachable."...Ray Garza, 1920-1994
I had a teacher at HHS her name was Mrs. Ton. she was a speech teacher
in my senior year. I was having many problems with adjusting to the changes
happening in my life at that time. I don't know how she cut through all the
barriers but she did and she was instrumental in me staying in school and
graduating. She was an elegant lady with a great sense of humor and
dedication to her students. I visited her when I was home before going to
Viet Nam. She let her class slide for an hour while we talked. It was a
dismal rainy day in November and she was a bright spot in that day. While I
was in Viet Nam she wrote to me and she somehow managed some kind of tour to
get to Viet Nam and tried to contact me while she was there. Great concern
for one wayward student. I will always remember her where ever she is with
William Homberg HHS65
|In 1965, my wonderful speech teacher, Mrs. Ton, told this story. Hawthorne High was still fairly new, it had poured. The rains had stopped, but the ponds were left behind; she came to the edge of a dry patch and stopped to wonder how she'd get across all the water in front of her to the next dry patch. With her next class starting soon, she began to step into the water when two of her big football player students each put an arm under her arms, and with her legs still moving as if there was still ground under them, transported her to dry ground on the other side. Without a word, they both proceeded on their way to class leaving her speechless and gaping after them. She got such a kick out of that act of kindness, laughing as she retold the tale.|
One other story she told was about some unexpected results of her lecturing to one class about how eye witnesses were unreliable, that if someone came into that classroom and shot someone with all of them sitting there, there?d be as many different stories as there were students. The next day she was out ill. Unfortunately, some enterprising students, not knowing of her absence, set the scene for such a ?crime? to take place, probably counting on her good natured understanding. One student ran into the classroom shouting, ?He?s going to kill me.? The next student ran in and fired a cap gun. While the first student clutched his "bloody" chest and stumbled out the door, the shooter followed him out, presumably to finish him off. Both got in ?a getaway car? and sped off. The poor old sub nearly had a heart attack, and the principal threatened to expel all the students involved once apprehended. Mrs. Ton stepped into the breech in some way that prevented that from happening while getting the promises of those involved that they?d never do a repeat performance. By the way, another way Mrs. Ton showed her love for her students was by sending us graduation cards when we graduated.
Thone Ritch HHS67
This E-mail was received from Mr. McGrorty's son... |
My father was Joe McGrorty, an English teacher at Hawthorne High from 1955 to his death in 1972. I knew Mrs. Mark-- she invited us over to her house to swim in their pool when my brother and I were kids. Mrs. Mark had cancer for years, and, I believe, died of it eventually. I'll try to find out what happened to her and get back to you. By the way, I went to nearly every HHS football and basketball game or wrestling match with my dad for years.
I would like Michael McGroty to know what a great influence his father had on me. Because of him, I have a large vocabulary. I learned to write coherently which taught me to think coherently.
This helped me in the Navy too. I was assigned to the 9th Naval District Headquarters in San Diego my entire enlistment because the top brass stationed there wanted people who understood what they were saying.
Lastly, any employment test has a section on grammar and spelling. This is always the section I score the highest thanks to Mr. McGroty. I'm sorry I never thanked him in person but, perhaps, it's good enough that his son knows how much his father was appreciated.
Martin Keyser Class of '66
Favorite Teacher I will always remember: Josephine Roth - Shorthand Teacher
Over the years I recall some of the things she would share with us about the
working world. Anyone know where she is?
My e-mail is: CBSatter12@aol.com |
Cathy Satter (Gumtz)
I'm not a graduate of Hawthorne High School yet, but I will be in 26
days! I have to say that through the years of learning and schooling, I have
never met such an amazing teacher as my Economics teacher, Kye Courtney. This
is his last year at Hawthorne High. He is retiring after some long hard
years. He is also the athletics director at our school. If there is anyone
in this world that I can define as "great," it would be Kye Courtney. He is
a strong and stern man who has the word, "fighter" written all over his face.
I don't know a single thing that this man hasn't been through and he is
still going strong. He is an excellent teacher who cares and knows what's
best for his students/athletes. He can be strict but that's just part of his
charm. He is a man with a face of a soldier but he has a heart of gold. He
has a sense of humor unlike any other. I know that anyone that has had the
privilege of being in this man's presence, has nothing but the utmost respect
for him. |
Class of 1999
I was looking through the teachers section and noticed that no one has said anything about Mr Morgan. I would like to start by saying he was a man who helped mold my life. I met Mr Morgan when I was 10 years old, and he was the band director of the Hawthorne Area Youth Band, (one of his many contributions to Hawthorne). He loved music more then just teaching it. It was his passion. He directed the Hawthorne High Band to many awards during his many years there. Teaching music theory was again some of his qualities. He taught students musical instruments at Melody Music after school. He was also involved with the Huntington Park Youth Band, yet he still had time in his busy days to direct the Hawthorne Area Youth Band. Through the years, as I grew up, I felt that he was someone very special in my life. I feel that many more (1000's) people feel the same way. But no one has said a word. After all these years, how many people out there, that had Mr Morgan for music can honestly say that he didn't have an impact on their lives. And that somehow their life has been a little brighter because of him. Jim Fox, Dennis Noday ,Tom Orth, John Tabor, Danny Presburg, Paul Anderson, Frank Lucio, just to mention a very few. I myself am gratful for having a teacher like Mr Morgan, not only for what he taught me, but for what he stood for as a man. When people read this I hope they think about all the good he did for them and the city of Hawthorne. God be with you Mr Morgan |
Wayne Dickey HHS69
Yes, Mr. Morgan was a great music teacher. I had the good fortune of being a
majorette, and one of the requirements was to take the music class. My sister
and I tried to learn the french horn, but were so bad at it, we were asked to
just pretend, if in a real concert. That was OK, as it tasted so bad, to play
it, and it ruined the song if we did, and it scared me if I heard my TOOT-TOOT
with all the other musical instruments. As I sat in band, day after day, I
recall reading the novel "Gone with the Wind", and how the band music
accompanied my reading. It made the story ever so more real! I was even disappointed
when I actually saw the movie, because it could not come up to mustard with the
musical background of the real life music that was being practiced by our
Hawthorne High School Band. Truly great musicians, with a magnificent teacher.
Thanks to you all, for such grand memories, of such a special time in my life.
Dr. Fred Morgan made more of an impression on me than I would have ever imagined! As Wayne Dickey said, Dr. Morgan greatly helped to mold my thoughts and ultimately my future, both in music and in my personal life.
I first met "Mr." Morgan when I was taking music lessons at Melody Music. One day he said I should join the HHS band. We talked about it a bit and he convinced me to join. And so I did and spent 4 years in the Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra. I met many good lifelong friends in the band. It was a very fulfilling experience as music became my number one passion.
Dr. Morgan was often thought to be a very strict teacher and many students that didn't know him well, thought he was too gruff. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Dr. Morgan really cared about the students. He would go out of his way to help anyone in trouble. I know, I was one. I remember Dr. Morgan searching me out on campus and asking me "why haven't you been going to your Algebra class?" I told him I was having trouble understanding it and I was too embarrassed to say so in class. So Dr. Morgan said he would talk to my teacher and square it with him, and he did, plus Dr. Morgan helped me every lunch period in his office with my Algebra...for weeks! He also counseled me often. He really helped me at a time that I really needed help. Thank you Dr. Morgan!
I made music my career, working with 'Randy Sparks and the New Christy Minstrels' and playing (drums & singing) and making records and appearances with Shirley Jones, Shawn Cassidy, Karen Black, Johnathan Winters, John Denver, Kin Vassey, Burl Ives and so many other notables. I've been lucky enough to have made many Disney movie soundtracks and have recorded many jingles, records and am now running my own record company producing young talented musicians and singers. And I thank Dr. Morgan for his belief in me and his major role in my success.
Thank you Dr. Morgan for your belief, your guidance, and your friendship! God bless you!
Ted Jolly HHS 69
Whenever I think of HHS, Mrs. Kathy Adkins leaps to mind. I can still
remember her algebra and geometry classes and that quadratic formula she
drilled into our heads! Go ahead -- give it a try..........!!! |
Many of us, I am sure, based our own teaching on her energetic/creative/inspiring style. She was also extremely devoted to her students. She went above and beyond the call of duty -- often phoning us to go over homework -- step by step until we truly understood the concepts. She made learning enjoyable, relevant, and long-lasting.
And, who can forget Halloween at HHS? We couldn't wait to see each year's costume! The big green brain on the outside of her head is my personal favorite!
So, after 35 years of amazing teaching, Mrs. Adkins is retiring. What a loss for Hawthorne High, but we, her students gained so very much and will continue to pass it on to our students. Thanks again, Mrs. Adkins. May God continue to bless you because you have been such a blessing to so many others.
Debbie Hagopian Egland
Mr. Wing was probably the best teacher I ever had.
I took choir all four years of high school, and to this day, still sing with
I remember the musicals we did each year, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, and the Flower Drum Song, are the ones I remember the most.
We had a very talented group of people, and Mr. Wing encouraged them to do their best.
He made our class a time where it did not matter if you were with the "in" group or not. We were all the same, we all had great potential, and it was so encouraging. He made music a great part of my life.
He exposed us to all levels of music, and the competitions were tremendous. I remember the time we went to a competition, and we were probably the smallest choir in attendance. We did an acappella number. We were having difficulty in practice, as it was a very hard song to learn. It was a magical moment when we sang the song. Everything was absolutely perfect, and you could hear a pin drop when we stopped. Then the applause came. We won in our division and we so were proud of ourselves and Mr. Wing.
We performed at Disneyland (I believed we played more than we sang). There were high school choirs from all over California and we all sang the Hallelujah Chorus together.
Very fond memories of Acappella Choir, Mr. Wing, and the kids involved (who could forget Penny Mitchell's beautiful voice?). Lots of parties, come-as-you-are breakfasts (groan), and lots of activities.
Thank you Mr. Wing. It was a wonderful experience for me.
Kathleen Streltzoff Kinman HHS62
Mr. Russell Wing passed on, Thursday, January 23, 2003.
Remembering Latin and German teacher Mr. Grahamer. |
I have a very bright memory of how much a teacher can bring about awareness to his students. I always think of him on a July 2, 102 degree day, thinking of him while he had a summer vacation to Germany. I believe he even sent a post card!.
I don't retain much of the language, as I have not used it, however, the memories of how much I learned in the 3 years in Latin, and 1 year in German, have, and will continue to last a lifetime. I just wanted to tell the teachers of the past, they had great impact on the learning and awareness of their students to the world that is out there, beyond our own little neighborhoods. Thank you!!!
Penny Upston, Class of 62.
Mr. Harvey was also at the top of my favorite teacher list. Math was NOT my forteŽ. I struggled with Algebra and will always remember "the line", you know, the one with the negative numbers on the left and the positive numbers on the right???? I just didn't get it. Mr. Harvey knew I was frustrated but never made me feel 'stupid' as he continued to try and find ways to help me understand algebra. In fact, when report cards came out the first semester, I had a D+ RRR (remember the R, S., and U next to our grade???).....
My parents naturally were concerned that I had a D so they set up a conference with him. Mr. Harvey simply said "Math doesn't come naturally to Peggy, but she sure tries hard to understand it, which is why she also got all R's." He knew understanding was there, somewhere, and he had the patience to persevere until the light bulb finally lit. Second semester was a bit better (I got a C+.....whooppee), and I went to summer school that following summer to make up the D grade.........and did so successfully.....in fact, I got an "A". The summer school teacher was another great and patient soul, Mr. Semonek (sp?). But thanks to Mr. Harvey's tutelage, everything fell into place that summer.
I've been in the field of high school education now for 18 years and involved with student leadership for 12, and each time I hear students talk about their 'favorites', I fondly remember, and thank, Mr. Harvey. He made me realize that everyone learns at a different pace and level, and if you continue to believe in kids and be patient, they'll eventually prove to you, and themselves, they can succeed.
Thank you, Mr. Harvey!
To Ms. Leda Griffin |
This is a dedication for my wonderful teacher, Ms. Leda Griffin. Some of you knew Ms. Griffin as a fellow student/friend from the class of 1969. I knew her as my teacher. My name is Sandra Perales and I was blessed and honored to be in Ms. Griffin's "1983-1984" 8th grade class. I was 13 years old and had the life of a child you only hear about in the news. But for 7 hours everyday, I left that life at home and I sat in the grandness of her classroom in room 11. Ms. Griffin was the kind of teacher you never forget about. The kind that took the time to ask you if you were okay. The one who noticed that you just weren't yourself today and asked you if you wanted to talk about it. She always made you feel special and welcome in her classroom... no matter what was going on in her life. In her presence at Hawthorne Intermediate, you were always number one and as I saw many of her former students come back to visit her, I too would come back one day. As a 22 year old young woman, I wrote her a letter telling her of my life. We spoke by phone the following year and she laughed as she told me how she had been carrying my letter in her purse for all that time. I told her I hoped to see her again and she happily agreed. Sadly, Ms. Griffin was taken from us two years later and I never got the chance to go back. Anyone who is someone significant in my life gets the privelege of hearing the wonderful story of my teacher. Ms. Griffin believed in me and helped me become who I am today. I am grateful for having had her in my life, for having faith in me and overall for just being the wonderful person she was. And just like those former students came back to see her, I too go back... but only in my dreams.
I love you, Ms. Griffin....
|Ms. Leda Griffin|
John Claypool - Drafting |
When I reflect on the four years that I spent at Hawthorne High, the one teacher that easily stands out in my mind is Mr. Claypool. During my elementary school years, I was constantly getting in trouble with the Nuns at Holy Joe's for drawing futuristic buildings on my notebooks and folders, (instead of taking notes in lecture like I should have been doing.) When I finally got to high school I had a meeting with my counselor, Mr. Kyllonen, and based on my bad habit, (that I confessed to him,) he suggested that I take Drafting for an elective in my Freshman year. I remember this drafting class was the most exciting and challenging subject I had ever attempted. I ended up taking drafting every semester all four years that I went to Hawthorne. I think Mr. Claypool was bothered by me at first, because I was always finishing my assignments early and then bugging him for harder projects. He was constantly looking through his advanced drafting books, trying to find more complex things for me to draw, (probably just to shut me up.) I truely believe though, that he really cared about me, mainly because of his constant encouragement to push myself harder at my new found love. He wasn't an architect, but you could tell that he enjoyed designing & drafting house plans. When I told him I wanted to be an architect someday, he loaned me a book on Frank Lloyd Wright and told me to read it. After I read the book, I remember being amazed at what one man could accomplish in a lifetime. It inspired me to work even harder on my drafting assignments.
Most of his students remember him as this real cool guy that would give us challenging drafting projects and play the radio during classtime. We would listen to 93KHJ on the AM Dial and hear Robert W. Morgan or the Real Don SteelE spin the great hits of the 50's, 60's & early 70's. Everyone liked him because he would do things that he really didn't have to do. He used to say that "going to school and learning should be fun." Mr. Claypool once took our class on a field trip to an architect's office so we could all see what it was like to live in their world. He got me my first job doing a set of architectural drawings for a small addition to a house near school. I remember in our senior year, myself along with some of his other advanced students would come back to school at night, after dinner. Mr. Claypool would be there and was working on drafting some drawings for a house that he had designed. My buddies and I would marvel at his beautiful drawings. We would work on our own projects and would stay and draw sometimes until late into the evening. I saw Mr. Claypool every day for four years and really did not want to leave that classroom at the end of my senior year. When graduation came on the last day of school I asked him for some advice, he told me to get a higher education and then go out and make a difference in this world. From Hawthorne High I went on to get an A.A. And B.S. Degree in architecture from El Camino and USC Respectively. I then got my teaching credentials from UCLA and received a masters degree in education from Long Beach.
I am now completing my 25th year teaching architecture at El Camino College. I have designed the program that we have so the lab is open for students to draw until ten every night and all day Saturdays. I loan students books from my library collection to encourage and inspire them. I play cool music in the lab to try and make it a relaxing environment to be in, because school should be fun. I get my best students various jobs, working for architects all around the South Bay area. I take my students on field trips every month to architects' offices and other notable architectural landmarks here in LA,(and all around the world for that matter on our study abroad programs.) I can honestly say that John Claypool had a huge influence on my life and now I try and pass that same wonderful influence on to my students...
|Mr. John Claypool|
Here is our first Principal,|
Mr. Wallace Nyman
as a graduate from Inglewood High School in 1931. I found this picture while perusing my father's old yearbooks.
Some of these listings go back to 1992. If you can help update this list, please send any changes or additions you might have. Thank You...