Warrior Tributes

There are many for whom we have special memories...  take this opportunity to honor them here.  Whether a favorite teacher, coach, or staff member... tell your story here - and help bring back memories for your fellow classmates...
Send an honorarium for your special person as a message via the "Contact Us" (menu item on the left) so the web site Administrator Team can post your presentation here with a photo of the person, if it is available.  Thanks!




    Darrell Woods    
  Barry MacAnally and I were both enthusiastic fans of Mr Woods and his biology class, and we worked together one time on a project for the science fair. We made a model of the human circulatory system, complete with representations for the lungs, aorta, extremities, etc. and a pumping heart that moved water through the appropriately colored tubes. I'm sure Barry was the guiding force for the project. At one point we had problems with the tricuspid valve in the heart, and it didn't pump efficiently.
  Barry said he would think about it over the weekend, and when we got together Monday he had a solution and we installed it. Mr. Woods came in to check out the working system. He looked at the heart pumping away, grinned, and said, "Good work!" There was the perfect valve -- the end of a condom slit three ways and closing against a bit of screen wire. The model went to the science fair, complete with condom.  I think Mr. Woods was delighted.
Doug Milller


    Darrell Woods 
 I remember the biology class being asked to go home and think about our beliefs, our ethics, our principles that govern our behavior. We had to write them down! I don't know what motivated Mr. Woods to ask the question. My guess is he was disappointed (disgusted?) by our (my?) lack of focus. Anyway, I'm sure,to his surprise, the exercise had a profound effect on me! It's a great question to ask a young person setting off to navigate a life. That's what I remember.
Lynne Cooper


    Darrell Woods 
 I found him to be an inspiring teacher who made biology class a wonderful inspiring time. I have always loved the sciences since I first took a class with him.
I remember him quoting the poem “I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Spider”.
I don’t know why it always stuck with me. He made science just fascinating.
Ann Davis Davies


    Kay Kelly  
  My fondest memory of all my high school educational experiences came from our Chemistry teacher Kay Kelly.  She was an ex-marine packed into about five feet two inches of 100 pounds or less.  She came up to me after the first day of school one fall and asked why in the world I was taking shorthand?  I told her, probably because it was easy and she said “no one ever got anywhere taking the easy route” and “go to the counselors office and get yourself into my Chemistry class now!”  Yes, I did exactly that and who wouldn’t if you knew her. 
  She was the most dedicated, intriguing and forceful teacher I have had in all my years of education. I found myself trying to model her example over the years I spent in the education field.  There are few true mentors that come into a person’s life, however when they do you are never the same.
  Thanks for your leadership and friendship Kay.
Kay McKibben Rubendall


    Hugh Morrison 
 Nicknamed the Hugger, Mr. Morrison (most of us addressed him that way) seemed to be everybody's ideal coach and all-around good guy. The nickname, which had been conferred before our class started at Westside, probably derived from both his bearlike physique and from the affection with which he treated his athletes. He even made our usually tedious phys. ed. classes fun. Though he was best known as a football coach, I knew him mainly as coach of the track team I was on. As with most schools then and now, track took a back seat at Westside to football and basketball. It seemed no accident that the letters awarded for track were about half the size of those for the more popular sports. But the Hugger treated us with the same respect and care he gave the football team. I recall him always being supportive while demanding a great deal of us in practice.
 I'm sure everybody who was on his track teams remembers what were called "perpetual relays," in which relay teams circled Westside's afterthought of a track again and again till we felt like we were running in mud-laden engineer boots. A standard joke was that, if someone had fallen and, say, suffered a compound fracture, the Hugger would give the guy his usual advice to "Put a little balm on it, and run it off." (The balm we used was aptly named "Atomic" and occasionally wound up painted on the inside of an unsuspecting teammate's jock strap.) But he even delivered the tough stuff with good humor and good intent.  When I picture him these days, he's always smiling or chuckling.
 When Gary Hruby and I qualified for the state meet in 1959, he hovered over us to make sure we were ready for the preliminaries and finals, cheered each of us to our respective finish lines, and even made a polite inquiry to the officials when they awarded Roger Sayres (Gale's big brother) first place in the 220 despite my finishing in an identical time. But timing was done only down to a tenth of a second in those days, and I must admit that, from my angle, it looked like Roger did edge me out.
 When I spoke with the Hugger over the phone today, still unable to address him as anything other than "Mr. Morrison," his voice sounded a little tired and aged, but he's carrying on, and he still remembers many of us. He's been officiating at track meets around Phoenix, where he now lives, ever since he retired from coaching some 20 years ago. He told me he still recalls his time at Westside as his "great coaching years," and I got the sense that he meant the "great" to apply to all his teams and players more than to himself. So I'll just add that the greatness applies equally, if not more, to him. We love you, Hugger, but could we maybe skip the perpetual relays today?
Bill Trowbridge


   Leon Engelbart     
  Mr Engelbart was a stereotypical "shop" teacher.   Yes, he wore a tie - some of the time - but we got the impression it was only when he had to, and that he would be more at home working somewhere with grease or sawdust up to his elbows.  Except he liked kids, and passing along knowledge and techniques many of us would use the rest of our lives.  I doubt any of us knew he had earned a Master's Degree from Colorado State, or learned that he earned his Doctorate in education from UNL in 1968.
  The man we knew taught wood shop classes, metal shop classes, and taught us everything from how to make, stain, and finish furniture, to how to replace a washer in a leaking faucet, tossing in how to wire a three way light switch, how to read an electric meter, and how to make an odd sized bolt on a metal lathe along the way.   Mr Engelbart was our teacher, our mentor, and, when needed, a friend you could talk to.  And while he occasionally grinned and used a word or two he probably wasn't supposed to, "That looks like s--t!  But if you do this...", a few hints could turn the pathetic project you were struggling with into what it should have been if you had known what you were doing to begin with.
  In one of the metal shop projects, we took two steel frames filled with tightly packed and slightly damp sand, pushed a small object to be reproduced part way into the sand on the top of one and squashed the other down on top of the object.  When you pulled the two frames apart to get the object out, it left a hole half the size of the target object in the sand of each mold.   We could then put the two halves of the mold back together, and pour molten aluminum into a small channel punched in the top mold, filling the hole where the object used to be and creating an aluminum copy of the object we started with.  I still treasure the little aluminum anvil I cast, sitting here on my desk. 
  The casting sand was fairly coarse, but several of us decided we might be able to create finer detail on our casting by sifting a layer of sand through a very fine screen.  Mr. Engelbart understood what we were trying to do, and enthusiastically supported our project, but I don't think he knew we were planning to try to duplicate a quarter.  Or maybe he did.  In any case they turned out even better than we expected.  We did show Mr. Engelbart the aluminum quarters we cast, and he smiled and reminded us of the penalties for counterfeiting - and then turned a blind eye when we should have put the results of our breakthrough project back into the molten aluminum pot.   I kept my 'quarter' for years.  It made a very unexpected and strange sound when it bounced on a counter.
  I wish I could tell Leon Engelbart how much those things he taught us have saved me over the years, and how my meager knowledge of basic electricity grew into a 50 year career in electronics and computers -  but he passed on at age 83 in December of 2008.  
For more about Leon Englebart, Click Here.  And Here.

John Ralph