Not much from the year 1958 is the same. Back then, gas was thirty cents a gallon and minimum wage was only a dollar.
But for the students of Benet Academy, one thing from that year has remained the same. 1958 was the year Thomas White started teaching, and 52 years later is retiring as longest serving teacher in the history of Benet Academy.
“My getting into teaching is sort of serendipity,” says White. ” My friend was the head of the English Department and asked me if I could teach his classes for a couple of weeks because his parents bought him a trip to Europe.”
After two weeks of subbing classes, White was offered a job teaching Math, Science, and English the following school year at what was then St. Procopius Academy.
The school merged with Sacred Heart Girls School in 1967 to form what we now know as Benet Academy.
“That was fun,” says White. “When you just have boys in class the schools different.
You get women around, school changes.” One change was made by Mr. White. He added an AP English class that year because he recognized the strong writing skills of the young women.
Today, the class still is apart of the curriculum, serving generations of young women like Caroline Mangun and her daughter Carrie.
“When she started at Benet I really wanted her to get Mr. White,” says 1983 graduate Caroline Mangun. “I had him for sophomore English and really wanted her to get him for creative writing senior year.”
“He was a really good at making assignments you wouldn’t expect,” says 2011 graduate Carrie Mangun. “He challenged you to think outside the box and come up with new ways to do things.
Thomas Whites life was forever changed 52 years ago by a decision to help out his friend. As it turned out, this change gave White the opportunity to change the lives of hundreds of students.
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