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A far greater person

Dear Editor:

It was with great sorrow that I received the news of Scott Edmondson’s passing. Scott was my fifth and sixth grade ‘ungraded’ teacher, but more than that he was also my friend, advocate and mentor. While I was blessed to have many excellent educator’s at the Aspen schools including Dana Hall, Moss Fuji, Sue Gibbs, Bernie Pausback, Griff Smith, and Judy Stacey (to name a few), Scott was by far the most influential teacher in my life. Scott had an extremely dedicated and unique hands-on style of teaching and mentoring his students that is unparalleled in my experience. He took the time to learn the unique requirements of each of his students and to teach and mentor to each student individually, while working with his class collectively. He fostered our individual strengths, and worked with all of us on our weaknesses relentlessly.

I remember sitting in the circle as he gave us lessons, drawing always from his personal experiences, in order to impress on us the value of what he was teaching us. He was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and helpful people I have ever known. He was fair and even-handed and taught by way of example. He helped to instill in me the love of the outdoors and a love of learning. Scott was instrumental in helping me to learn respect for myself and for others. He taught me to be introspective and to pursue my goals, and never to fear failure because it was through failure that we learned some of our most valuable life lessons.

I was, without a doubt, one of the more difficult students to which Scott mentored. To say he had incredible follow-through would be a gross understatement; thirty years after he was my teacher, he was still checking in with me, and with my mother, to see how my life was going and how well I had been able to apply the many things he taught me. I have never met anyone else who touched so many lives so positively; Scott never expected (but always earned) respect and gratitude. I am a far greater person for having known Scott, and I will miss him.

Chris Bertholf

Portland, OR


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