Group photo of teachers
Pat Holmes, near the back

“Pat Holmes [is] … a true inspiration to me as an educator” – Doug Fireside

Carl Steckler and Harriet/Kira Van Duesen

“[Problems] Chaos, Chaos, Chaos.   The lack of supply monies.   We learned to cope with chaos and became expert scroungers.” – Bill Mutch

“Teaching at East Hill with Pat Holmes helped me to become a teacher who individualized instruction for each student.  I continued to do that throughout my teaching career… I advocate for education that allows each child to learn at their own pace and to follow their own interests.  I know the importance of building with blocks and doing hands-on activities.” – Roberta Wallitt

Janet Fortress with her class

” …  We learned that there was NO difference in the potential ability to teach between college pre-education majors and people who actually did walk in off the street.  We also learned that by the end only those who could cope with the educational bureaucracy were still operational.” – Bill Mutch

Barbara with marigold bouquet

“[At the end of the second year] …Everybody knew that change was on the way.  Dan Lee, from the District, had replaced Bob Herse as principal.  We knew that greater emphasis would soon be placed on certification, on more standardized instruction, and, maybe especially, on having a less outspoken, controversial faculty.  There were also rumors that the building would be closed.” – Bob Speiser

Harriet, now Kira Van Duesen
Peggy Stoughton

“Ahhhh, Bari Lee! Thank you, honestly and sincerely, for everything you did for me.” – Dalton Anthony

Staff party
More teachers

There weren’t any grades at East Hill, but we did have written letters from our teachers to our parents from time to time.

Dalton Jones’ evaluation by Bari
Harry and Ruth Siegel
Richard Nowogrodski

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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  1. I still remember an important life lesson Richard Nowogrodski taught me. We were outside in the playground, where I saw a bee. I had been stung many times, so I was scared of bees. Fear turned into aggression. I wanted to kill the bee so that it wouldn’t sting me. Richard told me that bees were not predisposed to stinging people, and only stung if they felt threatened. He then let the bee crawl from the flower onto his hand, and then from his hand onto mine. This interaction immediately changed my relationship with bees. Over time, I have come to realize that it applies to many other types of interaction as well, including those within human communities.