We all have teachers that we will never forget, for some students at East Central High School that person is Pat Ward.
“Every day you looked forward to coming to class because Mr. Ward was one of those people who was born to be an educator,” said Barney James, a student of Wards’ in 1975.
Mr. Ward taught multiple Chemistry classes a day until his retirement in the 1980s. James and other former students told FOX23 it was the method in which Mr. Ward taught that made the material memorable.
“It was always entertaining, always memorable and always fun,” said James, “I always walked away learning so much.”
Former student David Oldham says he can still recite some pneumonic phrases he learned in Ward’s chemistry class. He says after twenty years they are still ngrained in his memory.
“There were so many little things that he did to try to help you remember, and remember in a way that you wouldn’t forget,” said Oldham.
Years have passed since Ward taught at East Central High School but his students haven’t forgotten about it him.
Some were so touched by his academic influence as an educator and a person that they created a website
dedicated to him.
The website is filled with pictures, stories and “Wardisms.” There is also a push on acebook to have him inducted into the Teacher’s Hall of Fame.
“He put everything he had into the classroom,” said James.
Mr. Ward says he can’t believe the gesture. “I feel very to have had students like them,” said Ward.
Mr. Ward is currently battling cancer.
Scores of Mr. Ward’s former students visit him regularly. A notebook is filled in his room with the signatures of his visitors.
“I can't thank the students enough for coming to see me, I can’t get very low because I know I have so many supporters,” said Ward.
FOX23’s Chief Meteorologist James Aydelott is a former student of Mr. Wards.
“He was very special, I’m very proud of him,” said Mr. Ward.
Aydelott says the material he learned in that Chemistry class provided a solid foundation for the sciences classes he took in college. More than the class, Aydelott says that Mr. Ward was a special kind of educator.
“He made such an impact on me because he cared about his students and made an effort to make chemistry fun,” said Aydelott, “If everyone had a teacher like that the sky would be the limit.”