Drew Robert Tillotson - Notes
My Favorite North High Teachers
Drew R. Tillotson
Class of 1948

F. H. Stewart

Mr. Stewart taught mathematics and I had him for trigonometry class. He was then in his upper 60's - close to retirement --. A quiet, serious man who commanded great respect. No one dreamed of whispering in his class! One time he wrote an equation on the blackboard which proved that 2=1. I was so impressed that I copies it down and committed it to memory. To this day I can still write out the equation. (Of course, it contained a fallacy; i.e., Any result obtained by dividing by zero produces an incorrect answer.) In his dignified, studious way, he was a "college level" teacher who, by his demeanor, inspired me to achievement. Many evening I sat with my Dad, trying to solve some of the problems presented by Mr. Stewart. My Dad had finished his high school math 30 years earlier yet he was still able to comprehend the math (even though he had not been taught by Mr. Stewart!).
Despite my hard work, I was unable to receive a "1" from Mr. Stewart who rumor held, did not award that high grade…ever! However, next to my "2" grade he had written the word "high". I was as pleased as if I had received a "1" plus! At that time, I worked after school at the A & P Store at 1st & Euclid. Mr. Stewart lived nearby and was an occasional shopper. When I would see him in the store he always gave me a courteous smile, but he never acknowledged that he had ever seen me before - Such was Mr. Stewart! A fine teacher who helped instill in me the discipline needed to achieve success.

Eugene Worden (He graduated from North High School in 1932. He taught physics and math at North High for 35 years. Deceased: 03/08/06)

Mr. Worden taught physics at North High. While he always wore a shirt and tie, I don't recall ever having seen him in a suit. Rather, he wore a trimly cut zipped jacket. His manner was such like Mr. Stewart's - quiet and business-like, but with a teaching style which clearly explained difficult concepts. As with Mr. Stewart, we students greatly respected him and there was no "behind the hand" talking in class.

About 20 years ago, I again met Mr. Worden who was then in his late 70's, but little changed from his teaching days. I learned that he had grown up just north of Aurora on 6th Ave and that he had been in the first class to attend Warren Harding Jr. High (Circa 1923). He had gone to North High and then to Drake University where he "ran track" as he phrased it.

Mr. Worden was also a college level teacher who had the rare gift of bringing out maximum effort from his students. Interestingly, Mr. Worden was fond of sailing, and I took him for an afternoon sail on Saylorville Lake where he took his turn at "skippering" the boat in competent fashion. This when he was in his late 70's. Never did I dream that 40 years after my North High graduation I would be sailing with my physics teacher!

Ellsworth E. Lory (Deceased 12/08/90)

My favorite High School teacher!, Mr. Lory, taught "civic flavored " subjects in an impressive manner, occasionally laced with some gentle humor. For example, one time he asked the class what all people sought in life. There were, of course, quite a number of widely differing responses. Finally, he said that none of the answers seemed satisfactory to him. He then gave his answer which was that all of us sought happiness. Who can argue with that? On another occasion he told of the child who asked her Father to define a pun. The father was incredulous that his child didn't know what "pun" meant. So, he locked her in the bathroom with the admonition that he wouldn't unlock the door until she defined a pun. Finally, after much wailing and sobbing with pleas of "Daddy, let me out", the crying ceased. Then, several moments later, the child quietly said, "Daddy, O-PUN the door". Hardly relevant to teaching civics. But I have remembered both those incidents all these years. He was, indeed, a stimulating teacher.

Several years later, while in the U.S. NAVY, I competed for an NROTC scholarship. After a "fleet-wide" examination taken by some 10,000 sailors, 500 of us were selected to spend the summer at the U.S. NAVY Preparatory School at Bainbridge, MD. As I recall, all of us had attended college before our U.S. NAVY duty, so the competition was stiff. Our courses were primarily mathematics (algebra, geometry and trigonometry) and physics. Though it had been several years since I had taken these courses, I had no trouble recalling them, thanks to my excellent schooling in this area while at North High. So, I was one of the 200 men who received an NROTC scholarship.

In conclusion, the above North High teachers instilled in me the incentive to "do my best" and a discipline to do just that. Without this, success for most of us is not possible.
As a final thought, I am reminded of one of my Law Professors who was asked to address a "pre-law" group. One of the students asked the professor what courses he should take to best prepare him for law school. The professor, who was noted for his gruff responses, said that he didn't think it made any difference "as long as it is tough!" My North High teaching trio of Mr. Stewart, Mr. Worden and Mr. Lory would have fully agreed with this advice.

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