Editorial by owner Adam Griffin…
Nearly everyone who has ever worked their way through any public or private school would very likely be able to tell you who their favorite teacher was. If you’re like me, there were a few who fit that bill, but one in particular stands out above the rest, for teaching me something that has impacted me, not just through the years in school, but throughout my life.
I attended Dillsboro Elementary School from 1st through 6th grade, and when I was in 3rd grade, I was honored to be student of Miss Jacobs. Darla Jacobs, to the mom’s and dad’s reading this, was amazing, to put in as simple of terms as I can. It’s not clear what happened, but Miss Jacobs passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday.
I remember Miss Jacobs for teaching me cursive, multiplication and Ramona Qimby. I remember playing math blaster and taking times tests as we learned our multiplication. But in addition to the fun, the learning of reading, writing and arithmetic, Miss Jacobs saw more in her students than most 3rd grade teachers do.
Back then, you had a yellow or blue report card, that, every 9 weeks would be sent home for your parents to look over and sign. On the back of those report cards, were teacher comments. Miss Jacobs in all three of my teacher comment sections would write “Adam needs to work harder”; “He’s capable of so much more”; and “I’m working to keep him on the honor roll, but I need his help”. I remember one particular moment that year that she caught me changing an answer on my “12’s” times test. This, after not working hard at all for quite some time. It was then that Miss Jacobs instilled something in me that I’ve remembered my whole life.
She caught me before leaving the classroom for recess, asked me to come and talk to her. She asked if I’d changed the answer on the test, I lied and told her no. She saw right through that. She came from behind her desk and got down on one knee, down to my level, and got right down to telling me like it was. “I believe in you Adam, but I can’t help you become a better student and learn without your help. You’re better than this. I see so much potential in you, but I can’t help you achieve that unless you let me.” It was weird as a 9-year old that there was an adult other than my family who actually cared for me, not just as a student, but for what and who I would become. And, it’s sad that it was not until today that I’ve come to thank her for that…after her death.
South Dearborn High School has done something for years with graduating seniors, that they can take and give a rose to teachers who made an impact on them. Although I did not graduate from SD, Miss Jacobs would’ve gotten my rose.
Miss Jacobs taught at Dillsboro Elementary for 31 years, and leaves behind a class of students who were just a couple weeks away from becoming 4th graders. But for countless years, she turned out countless men and women whom I suspect may have had a moment of teaching with Miss Jacobs that extended beyond cursive and multiplication. And, if they’re like me, they are forever impacted by her.
To Miss Jacobs’ mom and sisters, accept our condolences, but more so, our appreciation for supporting her in her dream of making an impact on the lives of young children. I can truly say I’m a better person for having been one of her pupils.
Visitation for Darla will be Friday from 4-8pm at Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles with the funeral service on Saturday at 11am at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Olean.