Humans of Appleton North: John Gundrum


Alex Hohman, Contrubutor

It was late spring, all was well and normal for Mr. John Gundrum at the senior luncheon of the 2011-2012 school year at Appleton North High School. Little did he know that all of the students around him shared a strong sense of respect for him and his style of teaching. The announcement was soon to be made as to who would be the Educator of the Year.

Sitting in peace, Gundrum had no idea that he would be the one that this respectable award would be bestowed upon. The moment came, the teacher felt pride swell up within him, he was eternally humbled. To this day the award sits on the wall next to his desk, helping remind him what he had worked for all these years as well as re-focusing him whenever he found himself getting off track.

The work that was required to achieve this award cannot go unnoticed, although it was a labor of love. Working with literature and writing had been one of Gundrum’s passions since childhood, and collaborating with students became another one of his passions years later. The universal relevance and all of the lessons there are to learn from within a text are what intrigued him initially. This combination made teaching less of an overbearing job and more of a hobby that you get paid to do for Gundrum.

“Teaching goes beyond the content”, said Gundrum. This may not be the case with all subject matter, however, the lasting relevance of many stories is very important in the progression of the adolescent mind. This relevance can serve as a placeholder for personal experience in a teen’s developmental years and thus give teens a small idea of what the world is really like. Also, morals can be easily expressed through creative writings. Overall, being well-versed in literature can help make a person, and Mr. Gundrum did an immaculate job of making sound people not only in the 2011-2012 school year, but in every year leading up to now.