As Señor Ross said goodbye to Leesville Road High School after 22 years of teaching, countless numbers of people could feel his absence. Ross was a big contributor to several activities around Leesville, including serving as head of the World Languages department and as a coordinator for the blood drive. His hardwork and dedication helped make LRHS the place it is today, and his departure has changed some important aspects of Leesville.
Señor Ross was an enormous part of the World Languages department, not just in his classes, but also in his capacity as department chair. When Señora Sollie left at the end of 2016-17, Ross, on top of his advisor status in the Spanish Club, became the advisor for the Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS). “He always worked very hard and did a lot behind the scenes that no one saw. As a department, we are working as a team to cover the roles that he held, like department chair,” said Sra. Bouchard, Leesville Spanish teacher, via email.
Bouchard also had a personal reaction to hearing Ross’ departure. “I was very surprised when I found out. I was sad to see him leave. He was my teacher for AP Spanish and an influence in my decision to teach Spanish and come back to Leesville. It was great to work with him last year,” said Bouchard.
As both a colleague and an important figure in her Spanish career, Bouchard remarked that she was incredibly proud of Ross and will always look up to him as a mentor and as a friend.
Aside from the teachers of the World Languages department, the students in AP Spanish Language and Culture are also feeling the loss of Ross. “As I was one of Senor Ross’ AP students, I was one of the first to find out about his unexpected leave. My initial reaction was denial…After that I was filled with sadness and anger because I was supposed to have another year and a half with him,” said Sophia Daigle, junior. Ross’ enthusiasm and optimism allowed him to be more than just a teacher to his students, but a confidante; above and beyond concern from just the academic side of teaching.
Daigle also remarked on the mindset and personality of Ross in his teaching. “ I could talk to [Ross] about anything even if it didn’t relate to Spanish… He not only wanted his students to be friends with each other he wanted them to become a family,” said Daigle.
This sense of family has been a constant throughout Ross’ career of teaching AP Spanish. Anna Pooler, one of Ross’ AP Spanish students from last year, also noticed Ross’ commitment to his students. “I think his best quality was how caring he was about his students. He was different from every other teacher because he made an effort to connect with students and learn details about each of our lives,” said Pooler.
Ross didn’t only excel as his job as a teacher, he went above and beyond with other activities at LRHS. Alongside Mr. Broer and Ms. Eastman, Sr. Ross also helped coordinate the biannual Leesville Blood Drive. “Mr. Ross, Mr. Broer and I were equals in the planning, preparing for, and running the blood drive. Over the many years we have done this together we each have taken on certain responsibilities in the planning and preparing stages,” said Ms. Eastman. Ross’ dedication for students didn’t stop there. He was an avid helper during graduation along with Ms. Scioli and Ms. Dinkenor.
Ross’ presence permeated almost every aspect of Leesville culture. His amazing attitude and incredible concern for both his students and all the activities that he helped coordinate has helped contribute to his legacy of being one of the best teachers at Leesville Road High School.