Day 153: Bill “Gabe” Gabriel

6 Sep

About five years ago, Bill Gabriel was my daughter Alexandra’s journalism teacher. It was at that time that Bill helped a group of students revive the Rogue News at Ashland High. It was an incredible experience for my daughter and Bill was instrumental in making it an invaluable learning opportunity as well. As I see it, Bill was able to help his students achieve success because he believed in them. And having someone believe in you can make all the difference in the world.

Bill gave my daughter the chance to do something that she wanted to do (write/lead) and he challenged her to do it well. Alexandra was co-editor of the paper that year, and while she had Bill to encourage and support her along the way, she still had to do the work. And work she did. This evening she told me that “Gabe was by far the best teacher that I had at Ashland High. He didn’t treat us as if we were seventeen. He treated us as adults.”

There are many other students that feel the same way. How do I know? Well, one indication is the number of ball caps that Bill has on his wall. They bear the names of the universities that “his kids” (former students) have attended and there are far too many caps on the wall to count.

Today when I delivered a Marionberry pie to Bill he told me that when he “graduates” (read retires) from high school in a few years, he wants to take some time to try his hand at cooking. However, Bill doesn’t want to be a working chef; he just wants to “take some classes” at the Culinary Institute of America near St. Helena, CA. Not exactly what I would call an easy retirement, but hopefully it will be one that is both tasty and enjoyable. Bon Apetit!

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