45°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Teachers’ impact lasts a lifetime

It’s not very often that you get the chance to let someone know what an impact they made on your life, with perhaps the exception of your parents, if you’re lucky. This is especially true for teachers and mentors you’ve met early in your education or career because you may not realize until many years later what type of effect they had on your choices.

I’m sure we’ve all had one or two special teachers who we can’t forget.

Saturday I had the opportunity to visit with one of mine, my high school journalism teacher, Mr. Bernie Feuerman, who started me on this path decades ago.

Together with several classmates who worked on the Monroe Doctrine with me, along with those who graduated before or after me, we shared our experiences, how his classes affected our careers, and offered thanks and gratitude for those lessons so many years ago. In all there were about a dozen of his former students who had taken either journalism or English classes on the Zoom call.

As the only one still in the newspaper business present that morning, I told him how grateful I was for, appropriately enough, indoctrinating me to the art of journalism. The joy of working on the staff of the high school paper prompted me to major in journalism in college and I’ve never looked back.

Mr. Feuerman’s career spanned many decades and countless students, but he seemed to remember us all.

In the 18 years that he taught journalism, his students never missed getting an issue published. His dedication to making sure the paper was published no matter what stuck with me.

For example, last year I broke my leg on a Saturday morning and was back at work Monday morning. Despite the pain and medications that made me a little groggy — OK, a lot groggy — I made sure that week’s issue was put to bed and things put into place for the following week before taking time to rest and visit an orthopedist.

Several times the visit left him “verklempt” a la Linda Richman (Mike Myers) in a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

He was genuinely touched that so many people remembered him and cared enough to gather together to share what a difference he made in our lives.

A short time after our call, his cousin reached out to us via email to share how overjoyed he was.

“This will be a very special part of his life history,” she wrote. “I’m sure he will look back at this very weekend, in part thanks to you all, as one of his favorites of all time!”

Somewhat ironically, I wasn’t part of the editorial team when I was on the paper’s staff. I sold advertising. But newspapering got into my blood and once I started writing, my focus switched and I haven’t looked back.

There’s only one other teacher I can think of who taught me lessons that I have carried through my career. In college I had a professor who taught elements of newspaper design, principles I continue to use to this day with award-winning results.

Marvin Sosna, who was editor of the Thousand Oaks News Chronicle in California for 26 years and later became my boss for a short time, taught the class. Though much has changed in how newspapers are designed and produced since then, the basics of how to make a page look good remain the same.

I’ve picked up other tips and tricks along the way from various editors and publishers I’ve worked with, but for the most part it isn’t the who that really matters, it’s the what. For me that means putting out a newspaper filled with important and interesting articles that you enjoy reading. It also means sharing what I have learned with others in the field.

I believe my teachers/mentors would agree.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523.

Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Help self before helping others

Lending a hand to others in time of need and helping out in dire circumstances seems to be the American way. The United States has been No. 1 in rendering aid to the many causes requiring assistance worldwide. Not every situation has been remedied ideally; however, our support has rarely wavered.

Funny business a funny business

Perhaps you’ve read my bio and noted I claim to have performed stand-up comedy in “another lifetime.” OK, the other lifetime reference is figurative if you hadn’t already guessed. No allegations of being a comic as someone who has passed away from this mortal plane.

Mayor’s example serves us well

If you missed Mayor Joe Hardy’s first State of the City address last Thursday, you missed a fun event.

COVID complicates raising children

Millennial parents have been thrown some curveballs as we’ve transitioned into parenting. The largest and most unprecedented curveball was a global pandemic that shut down all schools, day cares, public parks, events and any other community support that most parents relied on for educating and entertaining their children.

Parent’s duties never end

Call it the Mom Gene — or better yet the Parent Gene.

Need for B Hill bollards baffling

Leslie and I sometimes go jogging to exercise. Actually, it’s more like shuffling. But when you’re old enough to get the senior discount at Denny’s, any locomotion means it’s a good day.

Hate, hateful actions must be stopped

Just when I was starting to get hopeful that the spirit of the holiday season would linger into the new year, bringing more joy and kindness to the community, several incidents quickly soured that idea.

New year brings new big innings

As we swing into the new year — ready or not — I’ll use a baseball analogy. We are in the top of the first inning just after the ceremonial first pitch from Father Time. Or, Mother Time identifying as Father Time. You know, it is 2023.

Season brings out best in people

There’s just something about December that tends to bring out the good in people. They seem to smile more and think about others more.

Nevada’s water proposal deserves good long look

The Department of Interior has shied away from imposing a comprehensive conservation plan on Colorado River users, preferring instead that the seven states involved hash out their own agreement to address shortages tied to drought and overallocation.