CLASSMATES REMEMBER OUR TEACHERS
When our PHS website started in early 2010, just prior to our 50th Reunion, we had a section entitled "Speak Up," which was intended to act similar to Facebook, allowing a classmate to start a discussion which resulted in feedback from other classmates. Nothing really came of it until Jim King posted this at 10:55 PM on February 4, 2010:
"Who was your favorite teacher at PHS? One of mine was Katy Monroe. She was quite a lady, a graduate of FSU for Women and a great Latin teacher. Honorable mentions have to go to Mabry, Butler, Harper, Beck and Bragg. What guy can forget Nita Perry (English). Of course my life was significantly impacted by Coaches Jim Scoggins, Jimmy Haynes and two State Football Championships."
That post from Jim really got the ball rolling and several classmates began to chime in with memories of their favorite teachers. (After reading their memories, you may be interested in some from the PHS class of 1958, which are included in Wayne Tippin's High School Memories section of our website and can be read HERE.)
Julie Savage Lea: I still sing praises to Miss Raborn. She taught me how to write. After graduation, I spent summers writing feature stories for the Pensacola News Journal and weekly columns from Florida State University during the first two years of college. Miss Raborn's English Composition classes gave me the confidence, and skills, to test out of the first two years of English at FSU. Writing college papers was a snap after her classes. Later, I chose to be an artist rather than a journalist, yet I'm working on my third book now and writing stories for The Caribbean Compass, a sailing magzine distributed throughout our part of the southern Caribbean. Daily journaling and painting continue to bring me tremendous joy.
Miss Katie Monroe taught my mother, me, and my two sisters. She was scary, yes, but winning a smile from her still remains a treasured memory. OK, so I got our of a lot of Latin stuff by creating her bulletin boards and painting a picture of Apollo in his chariot! Fifty years later, I've got to confess, I never read any of those extra-credit books she insisted that we read. I just wrote down their titles on a piece of paper and slipped it in that Extra Credit box.
I've got to thank Miss Anna Owens for basically leaving us alone in the Annona staff room every afternoon. Designing layouts and creating that yearbook taught me skills I still use today.
I can't remember the name of the lady who made us memorize poems in Sophomore English class, but I can still remember the poem. My love of poetry blossomed from that assignment.
I think my reverence for the elegance of Geometry is actually greater than my memory of Miss Walton, or maybe I was just picking up on HER enthusiasm.
Jim King: Your thoughts about Sophomore English struck a cord. While I also do not recall the teacher's name (Joyce can't help because she had Ms. Schimmel), I do remember I attempted Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" and really struggled. I remember that Julia Ann (Richardson) Cooper recited "If" by Rudyard Kipling.
Patricia Butler Kwachka: I've got to chime in on Ms Monroe. (I'm still getting over the fact that she had a first name!) I, the Cole twins (Linda & Louise) had her Latin class for 2 or 3? years; it was fear & trembling, ruler on knuckles, no written translations for class recitation, & the absolute grinding joy of wrestling to make those suffixes correspond to English grammer. The twins & I spent every weekend thrashing them out. Then, one day, we came to class & she wasn't there in her usual position - hovering neatly behind her desk, wrapped in misty scarves & severe suits, grey hair neatly tucked, grave face pale, jowls etched. Her non-presence was totally disconcerting. Then, within a few minutes, the principal (who was he?) appeared & announced she would not be there because her mother was sick. SHE HAD A MOTHER??!! I grew up a little that day. And I'm sure she was responsible for my later becoming a theoretical linguistic.
Marsha Cosby Cetti: As far as favorite teachers are concerned, I'm with Jim King concerning Kathlyn Monroe. She was a great teacher, but she scared me to death! The second day of class we had a quiz on vacabulary. It was an oral quiz, and I had studied for it. But when she called on me to give the meaning of et, could I give it? NO. I was completely terrified of her!
Also we can't forget Miss Raborn. I have to admit we called her "the red-headed witch" behind her back. But she's another one who never married and had her whole life devoted to the teaching of the English language. She's another one who intimidated me, but I learned to love my language because of her!
And finally, there has never been a teacher anywhere like Bill Holston. He taught us not only music but also poetry, philosophy, sociology, history and patriotism. I'll never forget the trips he took us on to the French Quarter in New Orleans, to Dan's Pier 600 to listen to Al Hirt play Dixieland jazz. You can't do that with young people any longer, but we loved it and learned a lot from him!
Virginia West Robinson: Favorite teachers? That's easy!
Miss Raborn, who inspired me to want to major in English at FSU...(didn't happen, studied music and art).
Roger Hester, who inspired me to sing my heart out all my life and encouraged me to believe in myself.
Mr. Wilson, who had a knack of really listening to students and had such good advice on life and personal integrity.
And how in the world can I not mention Shirley Tillery, speech teacher? I was horribly shy all through my school days and thought taking a class in public speaking might help. No, it really didn't...I still threw up every time I had to make a speech, but she was kind and funny...AND I played "matchmaker" between her and my cousin. So far as I know, they are still happily married with a bunch of kids and grandkids.
Al Shams: Does anyone remember Ms Banack? She was a 10th grade English teacher fresh out of university of florida. I think she and jeggy gida, a math teacher, went out. Some of us encouraged that relationship. Also, Ms Swain was a favorite of mine. She taught contemporary world affairs.
Sarah Davis: How about Ms Pasco? Mr. Ballinger was my world history teacher and he died of cancer. I also liked Coach Shires, even if he couldn't teach business math.
Jane Horne Sanchez: I was in Coach Shires business math class. That was the beginning of my "playing math teacher." I graded his test papers and recorded them in his grade book. Had an English teacher named Miss Banack and I recall having to recite poems in her class and hated every second that I had to stand in front of the class and stumble through them.
Alenda Dark Kinder: Just wondering if anyone knows what happened to Coach Haynes. He taught Biology II? I remember a bunch of us girls were wearing some "Evening in Paris" perfume and he came in and said "Smells like an evening in Brownsville" !!!
Jim King: Alenda, Coach Haynes lives in Pensacola with his wife of 62 years, Betty. He just celebrated his 85th birthday February, 2010. As you may know, he grew up in Pensacola and played football at PHS from 1938 to 1940. He was an assistant coach at PHS from 1956 to 1959 and Head Coach from 1960 to 1967.
Coach Jimmy Haynes passed away on June 30, 2016, at the age of 92. He was featured in an article published the next day in the Pensacola News Journal. Click HERE to read the tribute to Coach Haynes entitled "Former Players Fondly Remember PHS Coach Jimmy Haynes". A copy of Coach Haynes' obituary can be found at the end of the article.
The following short biographies of a few of our teachers were copied from
"The Heritage of Escambia County Florida, Volume II."
PENSACOLA HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS
1959 - 1960
Click on Each Section to Enlarge
William Holston (1930 - 2011)
William Joseph "Bill" Holston of Pensacola passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 surrounded by the love of his faith family.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, young "Billy Joe" had an adventurous childhood on the James River where he discovered his lifelong passion for music and mischief. He attended Lynchburg College where he excelled in music and sports. He then joined the U. S. Navy where he traveled the world playing trumpet in an elite USN band onboard the USS Midway.
Bill met the love of his life, Beatrice McGlasson, while living in Washington, D.C. and they married and relocated to New York where he continued his music education at NYU. A perpetual student, Bill earned a Masters in Arts from Florida State University, and in 1955 was recruited as Band Director for Pensacola High School. The Holstons moved to Pensacola where Bill taught band and humanities for 12 years and raised their three daughters. Bill was a composer, musician, and teacher; and, under his inspired direction, the PHS Fighting Tiger Band was the only high school from the State of Florida invited to march at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
Bill earned a Masters in Public Administration in 1967, after which he was chosen as principal of Wedgewood Middle and Woodham High Schools in Escambia County. 'Mr. Holston,' as he is called by his students, was known for his sparkling wit and interactive teaching style, replete with lessons from history and literature. Love of the sea and seafaring adventures became a trademark theme for the career of this Captain of Creativity.
In 1969, Bill and Bea Holston embarked on a unique educational voyage, as they founded and nurtured the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, a private school which enabled thousands of young people to develop their individual and intellectual potential in a personal atmosphere of value, challenge, and inspiration. Together, Bill and Bea were educational advocates, humanitarians and leaders who helped young people and their parents to aspire, achieve and advance.
Bill's proudest accomplishment was his family. He was an exceptional husband, father and "Shoopa" to his grandchildren. Dad lived an extraordinary life focused on inspiring the young and old alike to reach for their wildest hopes and dreams while keeping their feet firmly planted. He was a faithful servant of God and valued counselor and mentor to his friends, neighbors, students and their families. He will forever be remembered as a teacher, visionary, philosopher, and a great man who truly made a difference in the world.
William Holston was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 56 years, Beatrice Holston, his daughter and professional colleague, Dr. Jill Holston; his parents, Joseph and Irene Holston; and his sister, Margaret Tashner Holston.
He is survived by his loving daughters, Jane Holston (Tim Toth) and Wendy Anderson (Dan); four grandchildren, Courtney Holston-Toth (Ben Cosgrave), Peyton Roberts (LT Nick), Christopher Thomas, and Erika Thomas (Andres Espinosa); many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a host of students, colleagues, and friends who cherish his memory.
A service of Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Pensacola with the Reverend Dr. Wesley Wachob officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to the ministries of First United Methodist Church, 6 E. Wright St, Pensacola FL 32501 or the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
You can find much more information on Mr. Holston on Facebook. www/Facebook.com/Mr Holston