Sunday, September 21, 2003

Good Things Happening

Students help teacher turn 100

Henry Rumpke didn't polish an apple, but he baked a cake for his first and favorite teacher.

Rumpke, 74, was among the students in the kindergarten classes of Dorothy Guckiean in the 1930s who attended her 100th birthday party Saturday at Scarlet Oaks Retirement Community.

"I guess your first teacher always leaves a lasting impression on you," Rumpke said.

Rumpke of Delhi Township can recall the classes of 1934 when Guckiean, then Dorothy Davis, had a firm, but loving hand on the class.

Guckiean remembered Rumpke very well.

"I remember one time I had told the kids what they could do and he came up to me and asked if they could play with the blocks. I said, yes, I just told you, you could. He said, no you didn't. You might have intended to tell us, but you didn't. That is the kind of student he was - very attentive," Guckiean said.

Nearing 100, the little blonde lady sat in a wheelchair in the Scarlet Oaks Mansion and strained her memory to talk about students, schools, her background, places, food, music and people in her life.

"I taught 32 years at Oyler and five at Condon (now Roselawn Condon). I quit teaching to take a train and go across the United States, but I had a stroke and never made the trip," Guckiean said.

She chuckled as she said: "I ordered cake for everybody here, since I couldn't take the trip."

Guckiean was born in Scottsdale, Pa. Her father, Howard Davis, was a sheet metal worker and ended up in Newport, Ky.

"I tried to get a job teaching after high school, but I was only 16 and they wouldn't hire me,"

She later received her degree from the University of Cincinnati and started teaching kindergarten at Oyler.

Life to her now is full of pleasant memories: golf, bowling and tennis.

Some Good News

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Kim Schlinkert lay in bed last winter and spring, recovering from chemotherapy and battling breast cancer after detecting a lump in her breast in July 2002.

Precious things kept her going: the love of family and friends, her faith in God. Her father, Jim Schlinkert faithfully accompanied her to every doctor visit and "was the one I leaned on," she recalls.

But what stands out are the cards, written in crayon and pencil, from her first-grade students at Hopewell Elementary School in West Chester Township.

With each of her six chemotherapy treatments, her former students penned letters that inspired her.

This fall, she is back in front of the chalkboard full time, she says.

Her doctors have told her she is likely cancer-free.

"It was so great to just come back," Schlinkert, 31, said. "I just love being with them, seeing all the growth they make.

"The unconditional love of kids is just so inspiring. It makes you want to be around there."

Metro orbiters

Five Metro bus drivers have driven enough miles to go from the earth to the moon, 41 times.

And they did it without having an accident.

They have been inducted into the National Two Million Mile Club.

They are: William Jackson, Nick Lang, Aaron Malone, Al Rose and Robert Young.

Rose said he concentrated on his own skills as well as other drivers.

"You know your abilities,'' Rose said, "but you don't know what the other drivers are going to do.''

Academic All-Stars

Violinist Kristin Weber received a partial scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Bostonto attend a five-week summer music performance program.

Kristin is a senior at South Dearborn High School in Aurora. Christine Cimiluca has earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and was inducted into Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honorary Society.

The daughter of Cathie and Paul Cimiluca of Symmes Township now attends the Coastal Environmental Management graduate program at Duke University, Durham, N.C.

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