Following winter break in Grade 11, Alan Staehle ’59, along with five other boys from the class of 1959, was asked not to return to Harley after a series of “stupid stunts” earlier in the year. Though he did not graduate from Harley, he is especially thankful for the influence of Bud Ewell ’40 (Math and Science, Head of Lower, Middle and Woodworking 1952-1993).
“A favorite time for me was lunch time and the socialization involved, and I liked wandering Allen’s Creek. In class, I remember Mr. Ewell told me that a theorem I had used to solve a geometry problem didn’t exist, but then he went on to help me prove “Staehle’s Theorem” and declared it useable by others in the class (it was actually of very little use, but his support made me feel good). I enjoyed all the science classes at Harley and think they were well presented for that day and age.
I also watched Mr. Ewell give some special attention and support to a kind of ‘loner’ girl who was desperate to get into the Coast Guard. That was not something that would have been common in those days, but he encouraged her and I think made some inquiries on her behalf.
Dr. Larry Utter (History, and Head of School, 1930-1954) was Head of School and I occasionally had to stop by his office. I felt he cared about the school and our success and enjoyed visiting with him, even if I was in hot water for something.
Now giving it some thought, I would guess Mr. Ewell became a role model for me in helping others solve problems and be successful in what they tried to do professionally. My father was a good person and a leader of many things, but as a scientist he didn’t have the opportunity to help others to the extent that it turned out that I was able to do, and got satisfaction from doing so.”
Alan went on to pursue a career in police and public safety for more than 50 years. Much of his work was in criminal justice reform in Colorado. He says one of the most successful jail program improvements was providing GED education for interested prisoners.
“Getting their GED really changed their self-image and helped keep them out of the Justice System when they left us.”
He was featured in “Marquis Who’s Who” for his work.