Scene Around: A 70s Knollwood Teaching Moment

Fair Haven’s Knollwood School teachers of the 1970s reunite over breakfast
Photo/courtesy of Eileen Kubaitis/Facebook screenshot

It’s not every day that a bunch of longtime Fair Haven Knollwood School teachers from the 1970s era get together. It’s one day — for the first time in decades.

That day was a very recently — like just yesterday.

Former health/gym teacher Eileen Kubaitis posted it the photo, minus two iconic teachers who had already left, after the crew had a breakfast together. Some hadn’t seen one another in 30 years.

So, who was at the breakfast klatch of all time (well, at least for some Fair Haven schools kids)? There were two gym teachers, two English teachers, a math teacher, a French teacher and a music teacher.

Know who they are?  Linda (Miley/Pienkos) May, Eileen Kubaitis, Janice Kurica, Suzanne Bugbee, Joan Fitzgerald and Rene Brignola. Missing from the photo are 92-year-old, and so iconic, gym teacher John Measley and Marcia Giffin, English teacher.

Everyone has those defining moments that came from a special teacher or several. Some of those moments ended up being beginnings. Some were little lessons remembered. Some were just sayings or quirks never forgotten. Some became a direct path to destiny. All made some sort of difference — even if with a wince.

Speaking of wincing …

All Fair Haven kids of the past know quite well that Mr. Measley taught gym like no one else. The man made us march around the gym like soldiers, shouting “Left, left, left, right, left …” and assorted other military mantras. And we dared not miss a step. Then there was the record he played while exercised — Go You Chicken Fat, Go! Who could forget that one? Not a one, that’s for sure.

Aside from Measley the icon, who remembers who taught what and what lessons they learned?

This editor personally recalls Marcia Giffin telling her students that if they weren’t read nursery rhymes as a child, they had been done a great disservice. And, by the way, we’ve seen her around and she looks exactly the same.

Eileen Kubaitis told her health class girls about amniocentesis when it was relatively new and that it was a test name they needed to remember for when they had children.

Janice Kurica … Ahhh, Janice Kurica holds a special place for this Knollwood grad. She auditioned her for her first musical, chose her and accompanied her and unwittingly set her on a path to the stage.

What’s your teaching moment story?
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