The passing of two great teachers

I was sorry to read of the passing of Tina Fallon. She was one of the most energetic ladies I have ever known. Serving as a state representative from 1978 to 2006, age didn’t seem to be a deterrent to her schedule. She got up early and got home late most days as she went about the business of representing her constituents. Most of that business involved getting out and meeting and talking with people.

Tina Fallon

She was a people person who was a great listener. She was so well liked no one dared run against her.

But she had another life prior to being elected to the General Assembly. As a middle school science teacher in the Seaford School District, she left her mark on hundreds of students. She was a hands-on teacher who was ahead of her time.

It wasn’t unusual that four people at a recent Sussex County Council meeting noted they had her as a teacher: Lawrence Lank, director of planning and zoning; councilmen George Cole and Mike Vincent; and yours truly.

I had the hardest time calling Mrs. Fallon “Tina” as I grew up and became an adult in her adopted hometown of Seaford.

We had many long talks over the years because we had a similar interest in local politics. I not only wrote about her as a reporter and editor at The Leader newspaper in Seaford; in later years I worked with her directly as a member of the Seaford City Council.

I really never considered Tina a politician, even though she served in elected office for an amazing 28 years. She was more of a friend of the people who happened to go to Dover on occasion.

There will be a memorial service for her in Seaford sometime this spring.

Another one of my favorite teachers, Jim Young, passed away recently. I got to know Jim very well in my adult life as a fellow member of the Seaford Kiwanis Club. I valued his opinions on matters above most others.

In sixth grade, he introduced us to the world of model rocketry, and we had a blast – literally. Beyond the fancy Estes model rockets, we constructed our own rockets out of cardboard paper towel and toilet paper tubes.

I learned more about science that year, even though he was only my homeroom teacher, than I did in science class.

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One Response to “The passing of two great teachers”

  1. ellen cooper phelps Says:

    Thank you for your tribute to Mr. Jim Young. Mr. Young was the teacher we all were wishing to be assigned to back in the 1960’s at West Seaford Elementary. I was one of the fortunate enough to be in his 6th grade class in 1962-63 (which included his son). Mr. Young challenged us to learn; as well as treating us with respect and keeping us smiling with his friendly sense of humor. Although my family moved up to Wilmington, Delaware late in the school year, I have never forgotten Mr. Young and many of my classmates from that year. I must say he was one of the teachers who inspired me to become a teacher and part-time college instructor myself… Sincerely, Ellen Cooper Phelps
    Sincerely, Ellen Cooper Phelps

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