Two of my favorite Gilroyans were honored this past week.
Tri-County Athletic League coaches voted Bobby Best, Gilroy High
School senior, Most Valuable Offensive Lineman and Mrs. Janice
Krahenbuhl, third grade Rucker Elementary School teacher, was named
Educator of the Year.
Two of my favorite Gilroyans were honored this past week. Tri-County Athletic League coaches voted Bobby Best, Gilroy High School senior, Most Valuable Offensive Lineman and Mrs. Janice Krahenbuhl, third grade Rucker Elementary School teacher, was named Educator of the Year. With the Dispatch strewn across my kitchen table and the two articles on these two people in front of me, I had a moment of nostalgia. I was taken back to my wonderful days in Mrs. Krahenbuhl’s third-grade class where I first met the man that “Best” is the only word to describe.
Bobby Best always stood out, even in third grade. He was the only third grader who was taller than 5 feet, 5 inches and he towered over all of us, even our beloved Mrs. Krahenbuhl. One wouldn’t think that a 60-pound third grader would have much in common with one who was almost as tall as my own father, but we did. We became instant buddies, and have stayed so ever since. Just to prove it, the two of us, with the help of some friends, cooked dinner for our dates before last Saturday’s Winter Ball. I stir-fried the chicken, he steamed the carrots.
Bobby Best is a student and a friend who can only be described as multi-dimensional. Many who watch the GHS football games have seen how gifted he is on the field, but may be unaware of his other talents. Yes, he makes a mean carrot dish and is an accomplished athlete who can lift more weights than Coach Darren Yafai and me combined, but he also succeeds in the world of academics and has a wealth of knowledge that extends far past the classroom. This combination has made him a sought after candidate by many colleges and universities.
A couple weeks ago, Bobby won second place in the first annual Mr. Gilroy High Male Beauty Pageant that was put on by the school newspaper, the Free Press, and in which I am proud to have played a part. Initially, he was not very enthusiastic about the event because of a recent injury to his wrist, but he put that aside and signed up as a favor for me, not for the popularity points. This shows the level of dedication he has to his friends. Though I have to say, as plans progressed, the intensity we have seen on the field became focused on this pretty silly beauty pageant.
Those who came and enjoyed the show know that his talent was one of the most impressive: ripping two phone books and two full soda cans in half while Black Eyed Peas played on the speakers. Needless to say, I am in a little hot water at home for sacrificing our phone book to such demolition. He even brought a certain fearlessness to the sleepwear competition as he walked on stage wearing matching top and bottom green pajamas. Just think, if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Krahenbuhl’s class I may never have met this weight-lifting, carrot-making, beauty-pageant-winning, football-playing machine.
Speaking of Mrs. Krahenbuhl and those days of Pilgrim projects and cursive writing …
Mrs. Krahenbuhl proved to be the type of teacher one always remembers. The elementary grades are the time when basic fundamentals are ingrained into the heads of students. Today, I still use the skills I learned in third grade. Even in calculus, one still needs to know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
Simply walking into Mrs. Krahenbuhl’s room was an event unto itself. The room itself was packed with books, and the walls, ceilings and windows were covered with student work, and there was a giant stuffed bear in the corner aptly named Teddy. Mrs. Krahenbuhl had a way of making abstract ideas more tangible for the third-grade mind.
For example, to conceptualize large numbers, she kept a running collection of pop-tops. I bet you can’t imagine what a million pop-tops looks like? We didn’t learn Gilroy history from a book; we walked all over town visiting the historical sites that Gilroy has to offer. There are some memories that I will never forget. I remember playing William Bradford for the annual Thanksgiving presentation.
She is a personality that I will never forget and seeing her around Gilroy supporting the arts and community theater only makes my memories of her stronger. She had the energy and enthusiasm of 30 third graders, and often we were worn out way before she was.
Some people in Gilroy have profound impacts on the lives of individuals. Two of these people in my life were honored in the same week. The whole city now knows what I have known since both these amazing people entered my life on that fateful day in grade three. Congratulations Mrs. Krahenbuhl and Bobby Best.