Staples Class Of 1950 Honors Last Teacher

This is a photo of 2 longtime, now-retired, Westport teachers:

The photo has an interesting back story.

It comes courtesy of alert “06880” reader — and Staples High School Class of 1950 member — Karl Taylor. Out of his graduating class of 123, almost half — 60 — are still alive.

Karl writes:

This was taken recently on Cape Cod. It shows Jeannette Atkins Louth, age 94, former Spanish teacher at Staples and the last remaining teacher of our class.

With her is Darrell MacFarland, member of the Staples Class of 1950. He became a teacher himself, and spent his career at Bedford and Coleytown Junior High and Middle Schools.

He traveled to Cape Cod with Ethel Keene Ritch MacFarland, also a 1950 graduate. Ethel and Darrell were married last fall, after their spouses passed away. Darrell introduced me on a blind date to Lois Jane Mead of Wilton in 1954. We married in 1955.

As for Ms. Atkins: After retiring, she became friends with her Guilford neighbors Bill and Ellen Louth, Ellen died in 1989. A strong friendship turned into love. Jeannette and Bill married in 1992, and moved to West Harwich on Cape Cod. Bill passed away in 2006.

The Class of ’50’s 50th reunion in 2002 — yep, 2 years late — included Ms. Atkins, art teacher Vivien Testa and English instructor V. Louise Higgins. Ms. Testa died in 2014, age 102. Ms. Higgins died in 2016, at 94.

Thanks to Karl Taylor, their memories — and the Class of 1950 — still live.

12 responses to “Staples Class Of 1950 Honors Last Teacher

  1. Wow! I’ve posted here about Jeannette Atkins before: she was a terrific teacher who was beloved by her students. And Darrell MacFarland spearheaded the Westport Junior Badminton Club that won the state title when we were in junior high. I didn’t realize he was a Staples grad. Glad to see everyone is doing well.

  2. Boy does the name Is Atkins brung back memories of a fun Spanish classes Linda Dinsmore Ttufts

  3. Should have read Miss Atkins

  4. Vivianne Pommier

    Yup Mr. MacFarland…. great teacher.. always helpful, AND i went to the Badminton Championships with him .

    Great memories

  5. So terrific to learn Miss Atkins is still with us. Her Spanish class helped me a lot over the years, get by on our travels overseas and to South America. I loved the stories she told us of her visit to Madrid when we were in class. Knowing Spanish really helped when my wife Ann and I got lost in Madrid looking for a hotel and ended up surrounded by police. All turned out well after they guided us off the pedestrian only street. A big Thank You Miss Atkins. Noel Castiglia Class of 1955. 🙂

  6. Patricia Driscoll

    I remember Ms. Atkins, Such an energetic, charming and fun teacher. I was a terrible Spanish student, but she tried her best. I’ll look for her here on the Cape.

  7. Peter Gambaccini

    Dan, as a High Point Road historian, you’ll want to k now that Ms. Atkins and our Spanish class all had dinner at our house one night. Lasagna, a fine “Spanish” delicacy.For the extent to which I could speak Spanish, I am indebted to her and Dorothy Keith.

  8. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Ah yes…..The good ‘ol days at BJHS with Mr. MacFarland…..Getting apprehended in the halls during class without a pass (Your papers please, Herr Buchroeder). Detention in the Springtime. And let us not forget the consequences of breaching the student dress code….My mother corresponded with him (as a recipient) often – in the days before email. Someday we will be reunited in the Principal’s Office In The Sky. Mine was in the corner.

  9. Carissa Simon Baker

    Was it Mr. MacFarland and his wife who took a wild group of Coleytown eighth graders to Atlantic City birding? Of course we had zero interest in watching birds, but had a blast sneaking around to all the tents where we camped for the night.
    And dear Senorita Atkins…..she was so good to us! How many teachers in your lifetime would invite her Spanish class over to her home for breakfast on the weekend, and prepare omlets in the bathtub?! Most of us were not very good at Spanish, even in Spanish IV Senior year, but oh…. how she loved us! Te quero, Senorita Atkins.

  10. Carissa Simon Baker

    OOPs! I meant Spanish V class. Lo siento, Senorita.

  11. Miss Atkins (we didn’t have Ms. back then) was one if my guiding lights in high school. I remember her coming up to Tanglewood one summer when my mother was ill and taking me for a long ride just because. I’m so happy she is still with us and looking amazing.

    Mr. Mac took us birdwatching in junior high. I think we had a choice of Cape Cod or Atlantic City; I went to the Cape. I’m afraid I don’t remember any of the birds, but I do remember sticking our heads out the roof of the VW camper and tying one of the chaperones to a tree. Good times, lol.

  12. Wow! Mr. McFarland was my 7th grade Science teacher at Coleytown. Great guy.

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