I am thankful for Joe Boris, a history/sociology teacher at State College Area High School. He is retiring this year, after 40 years at State High. The number of students he’s touched is in the tens of thousands and there isn’t one who knows Joe at all that doesn’t love him. Or at least will admit to it.
He was one of the most popular teachers back in my day (I graduated in ’80) and his reputation with students and colleagues alike has only grown stronger over the years. He has always put the students first…OK, maybe second after his wife.
His “trick” for connecting, motivating, challenging, and changing students’ lives? Trust. You knew you could talk to him about anything and he’d listen. He’d give you wisdom if you wanted it…or needed it. He’d help plan out a prank; he’d figuratively hold your hand if you pushed the envelope too far and needed to face the music.
He is a man of faith. Faith in God. Faith in his colleagues. Faith in himself. Faith in his students–and be sure to know that if you went to State High, you were his student, whether or not you actually took any of his classes.
I can easily say that my life is richer for having known him.
I am thankful that I live in the community I do. It’s not everyday or everywhere you see messages like this sent from the local middle school:
CC: PFMS- Please be Advised
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This afternoon we were informed that a bear and her three cubs were spotted in
the Park Forest area. We have spoken to the Patton Township police and also to
the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Both authorities are fully aware of the
situation and tracking the animals. They feel our students walking home will
not be in harm ways and have reassured us to continue with the instructional
day and dismissal as we typically would.
Actually, we’ve seen this sow and different sets of cubs for nearly a decade now. The only time we got at all worried was one year that was particularly dry, so they came wandering in looking for food and water. We were concerned that the dogs would be in danger, trying to chase them out of their territory and the sow getting riled up protecting her cubs. Fortunately, they managed to wander back into the nearby game lands. And more fortunately, the dry spell ended so they weren’t tempted to come into town. That year anyway.