Thanks to MHS teachers
by Jim Duvall

MHS teachers taught me that I could succeed if I studied things that I love and that hold my interest, and I hold those MHS teachers in high esteem.

I began MHS as a terrible student. In grade school, I had day-dreamed and looked out the window. All of my teachers said that, if I only applied myself, I could be a good student. I had many distractions, some parental problems, and a different homelife.

I thank some teachers who proved to me that I did not belong in a college-prep course. I see some kids today with ADD and think, “That was me!”

Here are the teachers who helped me to understand I was not college-prep:
Ms. Stoddard let me know about applying myself and doing the work, and about consequences if I did not apply myself and do the work.
Mr. Karst was probably the smartest teacher at MHS, even though he couldn't get me to work with powers and numbers with googols of 0's.
Ms. Hess taught me that reading Latin wasn't for me.

I respected their opinions, and, after a summer school session, I got back on track.

I finally convinced my father that I was NOT going to college, and I had a second life in high school.

Here are the exceptional teachers who helped me in the second life:
Mr. Ross, drafting teacher, taught me that perfect was preferred.
Mr. Armel, print shop teacher, taught me that a cheerful attitude can win minds.
Mr. Stine, biology teacher, impressed me with his no nonsense ways, presenting facts and drawings, and more drawings.
Mr. Baker, international relations, impressed me because he knew his facts.

Those are the teachers that meant something to me at MHS, and I learned that I could be a great student.

After graduating in the spring of 1962, I worked during the summer and left for the U.S. Navy in September, still 17 years old. I passed the exams and selected an electronics field.

During my 41 years in business, I had to study and learn the subject that I really loved. I spent weeks at a time in distant places studying business and banking equipment; I took college courses (at night) in networking. I would get a service request with parts delivery by 9:00 a.m. that day; I’d go online, study the laptop or desktop or server manual. (By contract, I was not able to take the call if I was untrained on the equipment). After studying, sometimes for only 15 minutes, I would go online and pass the test. I have never flunked a test since high school. I have an A average in all of my training courses, a perfect score on all of my college courses, and am A+ and DCSE certified. And it was a collection of MHS teachers who taught me that I could succeed if I studied things that I love.

James Alfred Duvall,
MHS Class of 1962

Mishawaka teacher tributes:
|Auggie Baetsle| |Emily Davidson|
Mary Hess| |Charles Karst|
Thelma Martin, 1| |Thelma Martin, 2|
Don Portolese| |Margaret Powell|
Earl Stine| |Helen Stoddart|
Rosa Weikel| |Marvin Wood|
A Collection of Thanks|