Name: Paul White
School and subjects taught: English at Pine- Strawberry Elementary School
College degree and major: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, minor in English
Years teaching: I have been teaching for two years. This is the beginning of my third year as a middle school English teacher.
Why do you teach? I teach because I love the English language and I have a passion for writing. I most enjoy the adolescent age found in middle schools; they hold a unique capacity for learning abstract concepts. Very few things in this world make my heart smile quicker than the act of students engaged in the process of creative writing.
Personal motto/words of wisdom: Honestly, it is: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Ghandi
Family: I am from Illinois; that is where most of my family lives, save my wife, kids and mother. I have two brothers in Illinois and they are both older. One runs his own business and the other works in a quarry. My mother lives near Prescott. I have a son and a daughter who go to school in the Humboldt Unified School District. My daughter is in 6th grade and my son is in 7th.
Pet peeve: Poorly written and spoken grammar, I detest! I am especially peeved by the use of double negatives in verbal exchanges!
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: My favorite leisure activity is studying, actually. I study many topics of interest to me, like astronomy, poetry, earth sciences, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, philosophy, world literature, sociology, photography, etc. There are just so many things I love to learn about. In the end, I would have to say that learning is my hobby.
Why Payson? The area chose me. At the beginning of the last school year, I did have a full-time teaching position. I was living in the Prescott area when I learned of Pine-Strawberry’s teacher position. That was in September of 2009. A teacher happened to be leaving, so I took the position with no reticence. I have fallen in love with the physical geography of Rim Country.
In school, who was your favorite teacher and why? I have so many favorite teachers, but two really stand out; my high school German language teacher, Herr (Mr.) Stoyak, and my choir director, Mrs. Tuminelli.
What strikes me most about them is their passion for the subject. Herr Stoyak was especially personable. He was very kind and refused to accept less than my best. Mrs. Tuminelli set very strict boundaries with her students and had an amazing voice, which supported her teaching ability.
What was your favorite subject in school and why? I would have to say that choir was my favorite subject in school. The teacher was phenomenal. My friends were extraordinary. I have lost contact with Mrs. Tuminelli, but I still speak with most of my friends from choir. I emphatically enjoyed singing (and yes, I was very good).
What was your favorite year in school and why? I would say that my sophomore year at university was my favorite year in school. I was studying geography, environmental biology, poetry, philosophy, comparative religions, world literature, ancient history, and music.