Friday, June 13, 2008

Growing up with a Rockstar: A Father's Day Post

Have I ever told you I grew up with a rockstar?

This is my dad, flexing in the classroom as is his wont. Today was his last day of full-time teaching at Hemet High School in Hemet, CA. The graduating seniors gave him a huge shout out during their graduation, which you can read about here in the Press Enterprise. (In a small twist of fate and a testament to what were small towns, the valedictorian this year is the oldest child of one of my closest friends from high school.)

Dad always has been the most popular teacher at the High School and generations of students dropped by the house and the school to check in with Mr. Herold. He's a California Teacher of the Year, the Academic Decathlon coach for years, and has fantastic AP pass rates. Students have written a website in his honor (King Herold) and he has 400-some members in the facebook group devoted to him. (He, himself, is not on Facebook!) Students collect his stories, and his sayings, and why not? My dad truly is the most talented teacher I've ever seen in action.

Yes, that's right. I took a few classes from my father while in High School: AP Euro, AP Art History, and something called Social Psych--a required course that included (wait for it) Sex Ed. If that isn't a Young Adult novel in and of itself, I don't know what is. So, yeah, I know what I'm saying when I tell you he is the best teacher, a great storyteller, and can hold the attention of 50 teens for 50 minutes. When I have a good teaching day, I feel I'm channeling his talents. (I just wish my good day frequency was as high as his is!)

So here's to my Dad on this Father's Day weekend and on his last day of fulltime teaching. While he has a full summer and fall of travel ahead, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in some classroom sometime soon. For him teaching isn't a job, it's a calling and a life.