His name-- Frank Zgonc (Za-gonce). I wish I had more facts about his life and the length of time he taught at my small town high school, but I don't. What I do know, is that he knew how to relate to this particular middle schooler. I could have used more teachers like him.
I heard that his love was music and his intent was to be a music teacher, but he ended up teaching math instead. I can still remember the silly little dittys he'd sing during class, his Rambler and fishing stories and his word for math facts (fundie-mentals). Even though he was a math teacher, he had us keep a notebook to write his word and definition of the day in. I learned a lot from Mr. Zgonc.
I reached a time when I began to appreciate all those who had contributed to my life and helped form my young psyche. I searched the web and found a contact for Mr. Zgonc's son, Larry, a music teacher at a Portland college. His secretary replied to my email and told me that just a few months earlier Mr. Zgonc had passed away. I was sad that I'd missed that opportunity to tell him how much he'd meant to me all those years ago. I did the next best thing. I sat down and wrote a note to his wife and made a mental note to myself not to wait to appreciate those around me.