I doubt if it would surprise anyone at this school that watching people throw and kick on the playing fields of Preisser and Cranmer is not my idea of a good time. Yet, watching Dick work his magic with his soccer and baseball teams has been a privilege, especially when he coached members of the class of 1991. I must stop typing and permit Bambi Mayo to salute her friend and fellow coach:
“Dick is an amazing coach. If you ever want to see Dick in his true element, just step into the gym while he is coaching or teaching PE. His bellowing voice consumes the gym as he passionately and energetically teaches his students. He is filled with energy, and everyone lucky enough to be coached by him knows that he loves the game.
“There is nothing more fun for me than to hear his enthusiastic laugh and energy as he coaches batting practice to his players early in the morning. It doesn’t matter how much prior experience a student may have at baseball, he will bring out the best in them and teach them the game. During a baseball game, there are so many different elements to think about, but Dick knows the scenario for each and every play that could occur. He directs with passion and precision. He is equally amazing on the basketball court. He teaches all his players to the best of their ability and then brings it all together by game time. When it really gets fun is when it is a close game, and there are only seconds to play, Dick is a master of timeouts and knows exactly what strategy to use.
“Dick is equally loud and phenomenal in the biology classroom. (His students) all started talking at once and telling of his enthusiasm, humor, and energy. “He is one of our favorites,’shouted one; ‘He is so funny,’shouted another. Everyone had something to say, and all felt a connection to him. They all agreed that he must have been a surgeon in another life because his passion and knowledge are so intense. . .
“He goes out of his way to make what they are learning applicable to today and to what is happening around them. He is incredibly entertaining as well as brilliant. One student said how she appreciated how visual he makes it. ‘Learning is easy because he is always showing us an example of what we are learning about. We even got to see a surgery.’
. . . “Most importantly, though, Dick is a friend. He cares deeply for his students and goes out of his way to help others. He is extremely generous and thoughtful and is the first to lend a hand if it is needed. It is not unusual for former students to visit him on a regular basis; many come to ask him for advice and assistance in their current classes or to say thanks for preparing them so well for high school. It has been a pleasure working beside him .. . "
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.