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Samohi Teachers Who Inspired Me

by Jeffrey Bell-Zekas, Class of 1972

There are three teachers who inspired me, both at Samohi, and later throughout my life. Each was very different. And yet each shared an enthusiasm for teaching, and an obvious love for their students.

The man who first comes to mind is Harry Pappas. He was an amazingly eloquent teacher of mathematics. He took the time to explain ideas, and always spoke calmly and directly. Mr. Pappas never made you feel dumb for asking a question, and emanated affection for his students.

Hector Miranda used humor and enthusiasm to encourage his Spanish pupils. I was an extremely shy person in high school, and he went out of his way to reach out to me. He was never afraid to hug, or laugh, or speak encouraging words. Senor Miranda truly cared about his students.

Lastly, Charles Campman taught his biology students to emulate his curiousity and love of nature. Mr. Campman made biology fun. His students became absorbed in the scientific method and the amazing miracle of life. Mr. Campman sincerely enjoyed teaching, and enjoyed young people; this authenticity endeared him to his kids.

These three men inspired me to attend the university, and later, to attend graduate school. They taught me the value of learning. They kept me going to school, when many times I was ready to give up. But most importantly, they taught me that teaching (and learning) can only occur when a teacher passionately cares about other people.