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Chalkboard Memories

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FC: Our Friend Alan | 2014-2015

1: Edgewood Middle Schools | 2014

2: Alan was a captivating story teller! I so enjoyed listening him talk about his travels with his wife, proudly update me on his wonderful daughters, and fawn over Gunther. These stories almost always had a comedic twist of course! This photo is from Alan's last day before retirement. We all wanted to honor the man who was so much more than just a shirt and tie! Jill Puma Computer Applications L to R: Rebecca Wiggins, Jimmy Cassidy, Summer Brown, Angela Murphy, Jill Puma, Jamie Harrison, Alan Freeman, Susie Hoffman

4: I was fortunate enough to know MR. Freeman on many levels. So many things I could say.........So I will just stick with the......... First of all as my 7th grade Math teacher. I remember as a student (and still sometimes as an adult) not knowing when he was being serious or joking. It definitely kept you on your toes. I remember his organizational skills as a student because when I began teaching he had his desk set up the same way. As far as I can remember he always kept a table somewhere in the room with a single chair pushed up with his grade book and folders (even if he had a desk in the room!!) Secondly as a coach. The only 2 things I remember about that is him "kicking" me off my opponent in practice because I didn't do a move right, and his "tough love" approach. He told me after I won my first match 15-0, that I didn't deserve congratulations for the win because it was an easy match and I did a lot of things wrong. I know now that he was trying to motivate me. Guess what? It worked! It clicked something in me to work that much harder in practice and not cut corners. That ended up paying off with an undefeated dual record that year! I attribute that to my attention to detail and work ethic to this day!

5: Colleague/Mentor: Not everyone is fortunate enough to go back and work for the school they graduated from. When I began teaching MR. Freeman was my first year entry teacher mentor. Once again, there were no cut corners. We didn't blow off required 1 on 1 meetings (the entire 9 months!). He was there for me not only my first year but every year after that as well! Tennis partner: I was his tennis partner in some epic battles against Phil Lavelle and Kathy Jennings. I always remember him semi-jokingly saying, "Just keep hitting it at Phil's bad knee". Chauffeur: Whenever I had car trouble, he was always willing to swing by my house which was <5 minutes from his and take me to work. As always, I only wish I had the opportunity to see/talk to him one more time!! It makes you realize we should more friendly and kinder and talk to our family/friends a lot more, because we just never know! Neal Colegate Health and Physical Education

6: I never had a wasted moment with Alan. Every word he shared with me was thoughtful and sincere. He always gave the time when I was a first year teacher in need of a veteran's perspective. I never left a conversation with him without feeling encouraged. It's impossible for me to think about my time at Edgewood without thinking of Alan. I know that's a feeling I share with so many others that had the privilege to know him. Chris Holland Language Arts

9: I can never remember a time in my many years at Edgewood without Alan being there. He was always a stabilizing influence in a career that could get crazy at times. But he always had a kind, encouraging word for me during those times. It is such a loss not only for Edgewood, but for the world. He was one of those people who make the world a kinder, gentler place. He will be greatly missed. Linda Lovely Media Center Specialist

10: I have been going over and over in my mind what I wanted to share. Working as an intervention specialist I had many opportunities to work with Alan over the years. What stands out most is the year I was in his class one period each day. I remember starting the year and talking about the first week of school and he said we would be going over rules and things like fire drill procedure. I was stunned to think it could take a week, but never did I ever see anyone not just explain a fire drill, but practice getting up, lining up in order by number, and walking out quietly. The multiple times the students practiced all the drills, and learned all the expectations really did take a week. Routine and structure are stuck in my mind when I think of Alan. Not a pencil was on the desk, or a book on the table until he told them to take it out. Kids would sit in ABC order, and when a new student would come in they would take their spot in ABC order, so everyone after the new person in the alphabet would have to stand up and go to the next seat to keep everyone in order. Kids would ask me when they would get a new seat, and I would tell them to hope for a new student in the beginning of the alphabet.

11: I never knew he was a twin until six years ago when I found out I was having twins. Since I never quite knew if he was joking or not, I was not sure he was serious when he said he was a twin after he stopped me in the hall and said congratulations, your having twins. I am a twin. After having a conversation about it I still was not sure because he could easily pull off a joke in the same tone as the truth. After asking others if they knew if it was true, I did find out he was not joking. I will always take away the time he put into explaining in detail what was expected in class. At the time I thought a week was forever to spend on procedure, but watching the students enter, sit down, clear EVERYTHING off the desk, and get ready to learn the rest of the year made me realize it saved so much time. Cyndi Yeckel

13: Alan was my mentor during my first year teaching at Edgewood. He was always so kind, thoughtful in his feedback, and incredibly encouraging. I knew he was an amazing teacher from the start and his wisdom and knowledge was something that helped me so much that first year and beyond. Alan was always ready with advice, suggestions, and a joke (or two). He gave me the confidence I needed that first year as I began my career. Through the years he has always had a smile and a kind word anytime I saw him. It was my great privilege to work with Alan, he will be greatly missed. Allison Conte Leland

14: My name is Nate Fryman and I had Mr. Freeman in jr high. My brother Cole also had him in class. I wish my little sister Kenzie would have had the chance to have him. Mr. Freeman always talked about his dog. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had. People warned me that he would give too much homework but it wasn't that much. He showed me some history movies and he sat on a stool in the front of the room and talked a lot. I learned lots of things from him. He was a great teacher.

15: Between my oldest two sons, our family has been blessed with three years of Mr. Freeman's wonderful teaching. Both my boys loved Alan's class and, so much more importantly, they loved him. His skill in teaching and the great care he took with his students blessed us and so very many others. I often heard tales from class. I knew all about Gunther. My favorite Mr. Freeman story: I'd seen a show where a teacher got married and asked one of his students to be his best man. I thought that was odd and mentioned it to my (then) 8th grade son. He immediately responded, "if Mr. Freeman ever got married again, he would totally ask me." I'm so thankful to Alan for caring for and respecting my boys, different as they both are. His classroom was a wonderful place for them, and he will be missed. I am so very sorry for your loss. As we've prayed for Alan, we'll pray for you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with us. Kim Testas

16: I had the opportunity to not only work with Alan, but also had him as a teacher when I was in 6th grade. I loved being able to learn from him as a student and also as a colleague. I wanted to share a memory that I had that I hope will make people smile because it still is one of my all-time favorite memories from when I was in school. When I was in 8th grade, we had the student-run program Cougar Connections. For an April Fool's episode we ran a bunch of bloopers that we had throughout the year. My best friend (Audra Beckett) and I thought it would be great if we asked him to be a part of the show that week and help introduce different sections. It took us quite a while to get through the taping because he was constantly making us laugh. As we ended the show with him telling us about pi (since he was our math teacher), Kevin McDonell walked in the room and said "Pie? I've got your pie right here, Buddy Boy," and shoved a whipped cream pie into Alan's face.

17: We loved the fact that he was willing to go along with this and was such a great sport about it. I loved his sense of humor, his personality, and admired him as an educator. Our district is extremely blessed to have had him. We will miss him so much. Stacy Gambrell Edgewood Graduate Edgewood Teacher

18: Beginning your student teaching experience can be a very stressful time for a college senior. Everything is new, different and unpredictable... Add Alan Freeman to that equation and it quickly becomes and unforgettable experience. Case in point: My first week "on the job" Alan approaches me about an unfamiliar car in the parking lot. As he describes the car, I quickly discern, he is speaking to mine. He goes on about said car being in "his" parking spot. I apologized, honestly taking the I'm-new-here stance. He didn't appear to be very understanding of my position. In fact, he went on to inform me that it was district policy that student teachers had to apply for a parking pass at the high school (he pointed across the lot). And only then, if I were granted a pass, I'd have to park at the high school and walk over to EMS. Alan delivered this news in such a straight-faced manner, how could I possibly question it?! It wasn't until he left the classroom that Angela Murphy let me know that Alan didn't have "his" parking spot and that there was no need for a parking pass. So started my experiences with Alan...

19: Fast forward to the end of the school year and be fortunate enough - as I was - to then start your teaching career with him as a team member and those experiences become a relationship. I'm pretty sure it was within a week of starting my first year teaching that he asked me about becoming a building rep for ETA. What the heck was that?! I just kind of shrugged it off for the year... And the year after that. Finally, I caved. He had this innate persuasiveness to his conversations. He was so masterful, in fact, that he eventually encouraged and convinced me to lead the ETA as president. I still wonder how. Without Alan in my life - and ear daily - I wouldn't have pursued the ETA leadership roles. He had the ability to see things in people that they often didn't see in themselves. I will be forever grateful for his arm-twisting me into those leadership positions, as it changed me and made me a better professional. To this day, I can't put my finger on the "Alan" factor, and I think that's exactly what made him so unique... He was a mystery to so many in how he did what he did. A true master at whatever his task at hand might be. His intelligent humor and charming smile left a great impact on this world. We can all be so lucky to have experienced the "Alan" and to cherish the memories and lasting effects. Alan, you have my enduring admiration. Lauren Green

21: I had the privilege of having Mr. Freeman as a 6th grade science and social studies teacher. He had a unique way of never letting you know if he was serious or kidding! His sense of humor was one that took wit to understand but if you did you were laughing every time he cracked a joke. I also had the opportunity to teach with Alan as a colleague. The first thing he said to me when I started long term subbing was that I still owed him homework from 6th grade. He was so in detail about it that I really thought I owed him something! He never let me feel like a rookie and helped me with everything I needed while long term subbing! I'll never forget taking over for him as he left for treatment how he kept on contact with me and always checked on the kids because he truly cared how they were doing even going through all him his treatment. The day he came to visit and showed the students pictures of his scars and still was busting jokes on them truly showed just the kind of person he was. Through all that had happened to him all he cared about was his students and seeing them smile and enjoy school. He was truly an inspiration and I am deeply honored to have gotten to be taught by him and worked with him. Rest in Peace Mr. Alan Freeman. You will forever be remembered by the thousands of lives you touched at Edgewood. Mario Carder

22: Alan has touched all our lives in many ways. It was a personal challenge for me to get him to laugh at my jokes or stories. He had a dry and wry sense of humor. Alan was a man of strong principles who wasn't afraid to challenge administration over student and teacher rights. He was the Champion of all who asked for his help. My thoughts and prayers are with Alan and his family. Kathy Grott

24: Alan was a fantastic teacher and peer. I was lucky enough to have him as a math teacher in junior high then teach with him at that same junior high. He was selfless and thoughtful to all his peers. I remember when I had him as a teacher I was a little intimidated when he would look at someone else and call on you. You were afraid to answer if he didn't call on you but afraid not to answer if he had called on you. Kim Hensley

25: Mr. Freeman was my teacher when I took French in Jr high, my colleague when I began teaching, and my oldest son's teacher three years ago. He commanded respect and influenced me through his teaching. But I truly got to know him when I became a building rep and then Vice President of the Edgewood Teachers Association. His dry sense of humor, his ability to speak up for others, his knowledge of when to take the high road, and his commitment to our district are all admirable. But my favorite Alan memories are funny stories involving fishing bumper stickers and missing VW bug seats from stories told by Mr. Troesch! Our community has lost a respected public servant. Rest in peace Alan. My deepest sympathies to the Freeman family.

26: I worked on ETA with Alan a few years. You could always count on him to do his "homework" on any topic and completely trust what he said was fact. I always appreciated all the work he put into anything he took on, and he was always willing to help out. Tari Collins-Lawson

27: Alan Freeman was a true professional who was willing to sacrifice his own comfort for the good of his colleagues through his many years serving the ETA. His humor was wry, his attire was impeccable, his intellect was obvious, and his need for order and structure was well known. He took his friends' pranks with good humor, and dished them out with equally good humor. I have many wonderful memories of Alan which I will cherish. Alan, you live on in the hearts and minds of those who were lucky enough to have known you. Judy Scherrer-Peak

28: When I first came to Edgewood I had15 years of experience so I was not a "young" teacher, yet Alan Freeman intimidated me. In fact, I was scared to death of him. Many times I would go the other way if I saw him coming down the hall. Through the years I began to understand that that intimidation was actually admiration. Wow, what a teacher! When my positioned changed from teacher to technology Alan asked me to come and show him Google Earth. (We all know that technology really was not one of Alan's strong points.) I loaded Google Earth for him and was starting to show him how it worked..."No no , I got this." (He had a class so he had to save face.) Well, he started "teaching" and pretending he knew everything about Google Earth. Then the moment came when he forgot about the technology and just went right into his teaching mode. I WAS HOOKED. To listen to him teach was amazing. He spoke about places on the earth and expertly tied one place into the other. He started in Ohio and went all the way around the world, stopping at points of interest here and there, and ended back in Ohio. All without preparation. I look around and every student is quiet and listening. His teaching made me go home and look at Google Earth for the things he was showing the kids. A master teacher.

29: Alan also looked after every staff member of Edgewood. We knew if we had a problem that included our union rights, we could go to Alan and he would always have time to speak to us calmly and intelligently. He was not "out to get" anyone, he just wanted his friends to be treated with the respect we deserve. I would like the Freeman family to know how I broke the ice with Alan and was able to go from intimidation to admiration. I saw a picture of his girls on his desk, asked about them and his famous smile filled his face as he told me of you. From then on, every once in a while, I would say "How are your girls" and he would tell me quick story, smile and go on to make a difference every day. Robin Phares Technology

30: Alan Freeman...kind, funny, intelligent, giving...all words that come to mind when I think of him. He had a way with the kids that was unequaled. They loved him as much as we all did. Thank you, Alan, for tirelessly working for my rights. You are missed. Susan Hoffman

31: Alan and I began our careers at EMS at almost the same time. The way I remember it, he had left EMS and returned, and we were up for the same position. He got it. I got one the next year. So Alan was a constant in my 30 years at Edgewood. He was a professional in every sense of the word. He was a strong advocate for the students and staff at Edgewood. Our building as a community was s better place because he was a part of it. He had such a dry wit that he made people wonder if he was being funny or serious. I think he liked that. It was my privilege to call him my colleague and friend. He will be sorely missed. Sandy Heiser

34: My name is Drew Fryman and I had Mr. Freeman in sixth grade. I remember he talked about his dog a lot. I remember he had a little airgun that blew out air hard and it was cool. I learned a lot about history in his class. I really liked listening to him talk and tell stories. I'm glad that I had Mr. Freeman as a teacher.

35: When I was in the 6th grade, I not only loved the color orange, but I loved VW bugs. We would joke back and forth about how someday I would get his car and I would tell him that it was my dream car. He was also the first teacher I told about my anxiety disorder, which is scary as an 11 year old. He was very understanding and kind about it. I was in his class on 9/11/01 when the towers were hit and we watched the news while working on science vocabulary because he wanted us to know what was happening. He was a great teacher and will be greatly missed.

36: My name is Lexi Munafo and I had Mr. Freeman in 7th grade. I remember him telling stories about his dog, daughters, and wife. He was always cracking jokes and making everyone in the class laugh. It was actually kind of hard to tell if Mr. Freeman was kidding or not! He would say something funny but he would say it in the most serious way so we were all a bit hesitant to laugh! It was pretty hilarious. He most definitely made sure we stayed on task, he was a great history teacher. I learned a whole lot of things in his class. Rest in peace Mr. Freeman.

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  • Title: Chalkboard Memories
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