They helped to make us what we are today...
John Gresham - He died of a heart attack when I was in college.
He taught advanced Math, and used to talk about his Navy days and his
nemisis of a Math professor, who used to write complicated math
equations on the chalk board with his right hand and have the left hand,
about 3 feet away, erasing the equation seconds after it was notated.
Sometimes when we were truly rowdy- like when ______ came to
class drunk (it was 9 am, we were in the 9th grade) and proceeded to
throw up all over one of the sweetest, prettiest girls ever born- Mr.
Gresham would do that chalkboard thing to us. But only when we
He was a very good man and a very great teacher. Or maybe vice
versa. Or, more probably, both.
Class of 1980
Coach John Hager - Long before I went to BRHS, Mr. Hager
was a neighbor of ours, over on NE 7th Street. He was very strict with
his kids, as I recall. I remember every 4th of July, he would lecture any
neighborhood kids that went near his yard on the dangers of fireworks,
showing us his missing eye, which he told us was a result of the
foolishness of youth and fireworks (was that true, I wonder?).
Years later, I had him as a teacher for BSSC Biology (Blue), and we
had an uneasy friendship/alliance as two lovers of Science and learning
in a sea of indifference. Because I had long hair, and resisted/resented
authority, he rarely let out that he felt kindly towards me, and we
clashed often, as people with strongly held beliefs do. I quickly grew to
respect the knowledge and wisdom under his gruff exterior.
Near the end of the year I took BSSC Biology from Mr. Hager, he
asked me to fill out the annual "wish list" of requested Science Lab
items for the school board. He entered the things he needed most as the
first two items on the list and gave it to me to put in the next 18. He
explained the School Board usually gave him the first item on the list
only, every once in a while they would send items 2 and 3, but "just in
case" he always sent in a list of 20 items. I took it as an honor and a big
responsibility that he would give me this chance to give the school
board some input. As I expect Mr. Hager hoped, I did a lot of research
to fill in that list, and he seemed quite pleased with my selections.
I remember the feeling of pride and accomplishment when, the
following September (1966), Mr.Hager grabbed me in the hallway--I
assumed he was going to send me home to get a haircut!. He dragged
me into his lab on the first day of school to show me that the lab was
filled with new equipment. That year, the school board went down to
item 10 on the wish list! We felt like we had won a lottery! Mr. Hager
had a soft spot for me after that, and I don't think he sent me to the
dean for dress code or hair length violations more than a couple of
times per year for the rest of my BRHS career!
He was one of the really good teachers--sorry to hear that he is gone.
Class of 1970
Mr. Lawrence Patrone - On November 23, 2001,
Mr. Patrone passed away leaving a large and loving family.
Moving to Boca in 1957, Mr. Patrone taught at Boca Elementary,
J.C. Mitchel School and Boca Raton High School. He, of course, was in
on the "ground floor" in the development of Boca high.
Mr. Patrone, sir, you will be missed. Thank you for your leadership and
Class of 1968
Mrs. Norma Sidewand, Key Largo, Formerly of Boca Raton
Norma Sidewand passed away in Key Largo on Saturday, May 11, 2002, after a short illness.
She had resided in Boca Raton from 1964 to 1983, moving there from Mentor, OH. Mrs. Sidewand
worked at Boca Raton High School from 1965 to 1983. Upon her retirement in 1983, she and her
husband of 38 years, Edward, moved to Key Largo. After his death in 1986, she chose to remain in Key
Largo, building a life that included volunteer work, new friendships and devotion to animals. She is
survived by a son, Douglas; daughter. Sheila and granddaughter, Nikky.