Thank you, Mrs. Newberry.

Mrs. Newberry, 1980

Mrs. Newberry, English teacher extraordinaire, at Miss Hutchison’s School for Girls (now just “Hutchison”), c. 1980.

In every high school English class,
Dear Mrs. Newberry, you kicked my ass.

That we hard workers all might be,
You told us to expect no more than a “C.”

You walked us through Dante, Shakespeare and Chaucer
With a passion you imprinted like a hard steel embosser.

And your cat-eye frames caused quite a fit
Long before Urban Outfitters made them a hit.

With your schoolmarm tone and firm demeanor
You ensured none of us would be a preener.

But your legacy, I’d venture, stretches far beyond
Memories of lectures and Honor Code bond.

For some of us you inspired that, because of our smarts,
We could be more than the sum of our parts.

So upon your retirement I write you this ode,
Wishing good cheer and happy abode,

And scores upon scores of “hip hip hooray,”
To you, dear Mrs. Newberry, first class all the way.


  1. Oh, yes! (and I was definitely one of those “could I be more than the sum of my disorganized parts?” kids.)

    Beautiful blog, Jennifer, and lovely to “see” you!

    Sally (Holmes) Thomas


  2. Nelse miller

    Wonderful and so true!


  3. I had one of these as well. He was such an influence, I knew I had to write about him. His nickname was “nails” as he was just as likely to pick you up off the floor, hold you against the wall, and re-explain his point to you. 🙂 Ah, the good old days!


  4. […] don’t publish. It would make a difference to no one other than yours truly.  I wrote a ridiculous poem about my favorite high school teacher, a tribute to my dear neighbor, an essay about my mother, and many phone-it-in placeholders in […]


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