By Averie Howell
Photo courtesy of Ms. Bielskis ('89)
Who says teachers aren’t cool? At St. Mary’s, we love our teachers. We tell them about our day and whine to them about our problems. They know almost everything about our lives as high schoolers, but what do we know about them? I decided to ask three of our teachers, Dr. Lyon, Ms. Dunlap and Ms. Bielskis, what they were like in high school.
Dr. Dalton Lyon, chair of the Upper School history department and graduate of Henry Clay High School, shares what his school days were like in a public school with two thousand students in Lexington, Kentucky.
Most likely to: Win elected office
Favorite class: AP US History
Extracurriculars: debate team, boy scout, summer camp counselor, youth group and golf
Lyon’s high school claim to fame was beating his opponent, Andy Beshear, who is the current governor of Kentucky, for student body vice president. Lyon said, “The only election that he has lost in his life was to me.”
During his senior year, Lyon and his friends constructed their schedules to leave the last period of each day as a free period. Those free periods were intended for homework or for an out-of-school internship, but Lyon and his friends used this time to leave school. They would go to the horse track, especially during April, in anticipation of the Kentucky Derby.
“That’s probably as naughty as we got,” said Lyon.
Rose Dunlap, Upper School chemistry teacher, graduated from Gulf Breeze High School in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Favorite class: Chemistry
Extracurriculars: Basketball and volleyball
Dunlap has specific memories of her two chemistry teachers, who inspired her to become a chemistry teacher herself. She recalls one of her teachers passing around a cup of mercury and letting the class play with it– “which is not ok,” said Dunlap.
She also remembers the time she contested an answer marked incorrect by her other chemistry teacher. She believed that perfume was worn for the benefit of the wearer, while her teacher believed it was for the other people in the room.
Dunlap said, “Well, that was dumb … he didn’t even give me the point back.”
Julie Bielskis (‘89), Upper School English teacher, tells of her high school experience at St. Mary’s, as a lifelong turkey.
Known for: being “energetic”
Favorite classes: English and art history
Extracurriculars: Honor Council and ice skating
What Ms. Bielskis remembers most about high school is spending time with her friends. They went to movies and out to eat. She said, “We were a boring crowd. We found fun in each other.”
She reflects on the school’s support system, which made it very difficult for her to leave. “The crying on Black Friday was legit,” said Ms. Bielskis.
As current St. Mary’s high school students, Ms. Bielskis urges us to remember that St. Mary’s is a special place, with a specific culture and community, unlike any other place in the world.
Ms. Bielskis says, “Don’t compare experience outside of St. Mary’s to that of St. Mary’s.”
For & By Students
Our website videos were made in partnership with St. Mary's video-making publication, Bella Vista.
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