Our Teachers
Our Friends That Made Us What We Are Today


Please submit any images that you have of any of your teachers... please identify anyone in the images and put a date on the image.
Also, please write anything that you would like to add to the comments following each teachers' pictures... Comments and memories that you have of when you were in class with these teachers...  All entries are welcome.


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Gerald and Dolores Slagle  --  (7th & 8th Grades):


Gerald Slagle

Spouse: Dolores
Current Address: * Gridley, CA  95948
Current Phone Number: *
E-Mail Address:  
Number of Children:





? few

Schooling Beyond GUHS:  
Longest-held Career: Teacher
Next Longest-held Career: Principal
Leisure-time Activities: Fishing, Gardening, Getting kids hooked on nature (birds, snakes, etc.)
Travels: Gray Lodge, Good Sam's Club Adventures
Comments: Mike & Bonnie still cannot call him Gerald & everything must be done "according to the gospel of Mr. Slagle". (yeah... so? Isn't that true of us all? He is still MR. to me. For 35 years students used to ask me: "Mr. Smith, what is your first name?" My answer was always "Mister". )

                                                                                       Deceased April 2019

Posted April 30th, 2019


It is with deepest regret to inform the class that our beloved

Gerald Slagle

has passed away.



He was 90 years young.

Services will be held Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, 11 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church.

A pot luck meal will be held at the Moose Hall following the service.








This is the eulogy that was given by Mr. Slagle's son, Tim Slagle. He has shared it with us:

Gerald Slagle

Welcome All: This is a Special Day of Celebration. Our Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Friend lived 90 years and had an unbelievable impact on all of our lives. He will be missed greatly by all of us but we were so fortunate to have his presence in our lives.

In July of 1983 Dad had his first heart attack and Bi-pass surgery. He had his second heart attack and surgery in December of that year. He returned to work in February of 1984 and retired in June of 1984. He had additional heart issues in the ensuing years. At that time, I figured he was living on borrowed time. Who would have known that those early Bi Passes would have lasted for 36 years.

Born in St Francis Kansas on Aug 25, 1928 and passed at the age of 90 last Sunday, April 28.

He was married to the love of his life for almost 70 years and knew Dolores for 74 years.

He was the proud father of 3 Children: Lynn and Dennis Quist, Cyndi and Bob Olschowka and Tim and Kathy Slagle.

He had 9 Grandchildren, 14 Great Grandchildren with more on the way.

Dad moved from Kansas with his Mom, Dad and two brothers in 1935. The Dust Bowl ran them out and they ended up in Gridley because of family and the promise of a job. He went to elementary school and high school in Gridley and Chico State to get his teaching credential.

In High school he was the Master Counselor of DeMolay and eventually was a member of the North Butte Masonic Lodge.

Gerald was an educator through and through. He taught elementary school for 8 years and was the Principal of McKinley School for 25 years.

He had a huge impact on thousands of young students and to his last days, met people who would say they went to school at McKinley and Sycamore when Dad was a teacher or the principal. His true love in teaching was science. He was a huge proponent of Field Trips. His trips to Gray Lodge to bird watch were his favorite.

He also loved to take trips to see the Wild Flowers up on Table Mountain. One week before his passing, he was talking about how beautiful the flowers on Table Mountain must be with the excessive rain this past winter.

Another passion was insects. He had more Insect collections that you can believe. His freezer to this date has snakes and birds that he mounted over the past 70 years.

As many of you McKinley alums remember the Glass case when you walked into the front of the school. Every year he would catch gopher snakes and anything else you could catch and put them on display.

Dad was also quite the Disciplinarian at school. Many students still remember  The Unlucky kids who had “Issues taken care of in the hall while all the other 9 rooms listened”

Dad had a couple of “Favorite” classes when he was a teacher. Many of you are here today and you all know who you are. Many of you were not only some of his favorite students but ended up being Lifelong friends. Thank you to all of you!

Dad was always the most loving Husband and father. He would always talk about the great Dove hunt he had on Sept 4, 1949 when he was almost late to his Wedding!  Mom never let him forget that day, but it did set the tone of their marriage based on love and tolerance. Mom was such a saint putting up with all the cleaning of animals/fish on the kitchen table. We would filet 50 lb. Salmon and cut and wrap deer all on her kitchen table. She never got upset (That I saw and just smiled).

Camping was also a great pastime for both Mom and Dad. We camped all over the northern state and one time went to the World’s Fair in Seattle and camped all the way Up and back in the rain. We even camped in Banff National Park in Canada.

But Dad’s passion after his family was Hunting and Fishing. My earliest memories were pheasant hunting on the Cassady Ranch. Great lifetime friends were made at those hunts. Marvin Sr., MJ, Dick, Ralph, Joe and Mike Cassady along with several other great friends such as Cal, Milt and the Bequetts created memories that are still as fresh in my mind now as the day they were made.

MJ and Dad shot so much they had to figure out a way to buy ammo cheaper. So in 1957 they opened C&S Sport Shop. This little shop was 8’ Wide by 14’ Long. Small but all they needed to buy Shot, Power, Primers, Wads and everything else at Wholesale price so they could reload all the ammo they needed for Pheasants, Ducks, Dove and of course Coots.

As time evolved, C&S became a bit larger and MJ sold western boots along with all the reloading supplies. The building still stands today.

Beside the upland hunting at the Cassady ranch, we would hunt deer in the Sierras and eventually elk and antelope in ID and UT.

After I moved away, Dad began sharing his knowledge of hunting and fishing with the grandchildren.  He was in Seventh Heaven taking his grandchildren out hunting Doves, Ducks and fishing Salmon and Stripers.  But his loyal and favorite fishing partner was his daughter Cyndi. Our walls and albums are full of pictures of Grandpa and the Grandkids with smiles that are blinding.

As time moved on and he and Mom embraced retirement, they both loved to travel and camp with the Good Sams Club. Of course, these trips were based on fishing trips for the Men.

Dad always had a little farmer in him. When we first moved to the Gilstrap house from Vermont street, he planted 21 Walnut trees. I remember these so well. My sisters and I would have to water the 3 rows of 7 trees almost every weekend during the summer. After those got to large and became such an issue to prune, spray, harvest etc., he pulled them out and planted Kiwi’s.

The Kiwi Patch became his “Total Getaway” during his Sr. years. He absolutely lived in that Kiwi patch and took care of them like they were his children. If Mom couldn’t find him around the house she would look in the Kiwis and he would always be there babying his plants. Thank you to Roe, Jim and Gary for helping Farmer Ged with his Kiwis over the many years.

In our earlier days as a family, we attended this same church on Sunday. When it was hunting or fishing season, the attendance was usually a bit more sparse. As Dad and Mom aged, Church became a much larger part of their life. Dad was a very active member of the Presbyterian Church. Both Mom and Dad were very involved in Bible Study and Skippers of the “Outriggers” Couples Club in their earlier years. He was also involved in Vacation Bible School for many years.

Dad had such a close connection with Pastor Barry Anderson. The last couple of weeks when Dad was very ill, he would be surrounded by family and friends. He would be fading In and Out and then Barry would walk in. As soon as Dad saw Berry, he would yell “Hallelujah”!!

He and Barry connected like no one else. His visits lifted Dad’s spirits for the next several hours. Thank You Barry for bringing Joy and Spirit to our entire family.

Dad Never lost his sense of humor. Over the years even all his trips to the hospital didn’t dampen his humor. 12 years ago Dad had fallen off a ladder and found himself hospitalized in Chico. When they were giving him an assessment they asked several questions like what are the days of the week, months of the year etc. When they asked him “What are the Seasons”, Dads reply was:  Striper Season, Dove Season, Deer Season and Duck Season!! Not to disappoint during his final days, Dad had a Physical Therapist who was asking him questions that he didn’t feel he needed to answer. At one point, he asked her if “She was a Socialists”!!. Another day a Nurse attending to Dad saw him rubbing his eye. She asked him if he had something in his Eye and he replied: Yes, my Eye Ball!!

I want to say a Special Thank You to my Sisters Lynn and Cyndi for all the help and care they have given both Dad and Mom over the years. Lynn has always been the “Rock” of the family and continues to this day to always be there to do things and never expect anything in return.

So when you think about Dad, Always Smile because that is what he would like and that is what he is doing now.

Thank you everyone for attending today; We are going to Miss Dad



Barbara Scott Pugh:

"I remember how Mr. Slagle made learning fun. I was shy but Mr. Slagle gave me confidence. He changed my life. I'd love to be there to see him."











Dear Slagle Family:

In the fall of 1953, I started my 7th grade at Sycamore school in Gridley. We were surprised to find that we had a male teacher… a first for most of us. Not only was he a man, we were told that he was “brand new”, right out of Chico State. Decades later we learned that he actually had taught a year somewhere else before he came back to Gridley.

He was a very personable young man… and he was only twelve years older than we were. He took full control of the class, but he was different. He was very strong in the sciences.

·     He had us build a weather station our of milk cartons, hair, and various pieces of junk, and we were amazed that it worked.

·     He would assign the class a list of characteristics of a bird species on Monday, and on Friday each row would turn in their one guess of which bird he was talking about. A competition. Obviously, we had to learn how to look up birds in reference books. That was well before Google, kids.

·     We took a field trip up to Table Mountain to see the marvelous display of wildflowers.

·     We collected wild flowers and preserved them, building our individual notebooks on plants and flowers. Of course, we had to write about each flower as well.

·     He showed us how to cut glass gallon jars to make glass bowls to hold live critters, and he encouraged us to collect and study those critters. He showed us how to use flat glass to build boxes to keep the bigger critters. My mother never quite got over some of the ‘stuff’ I used to bring home. She only allowed me to keep them in the barn. “Not in THIS house, Mister!!”

·     He encouraged us to discuss with the class any group of birds or something in nature that we had experienced on that day. I shared that on the way to school on the bus, we passed a small water area that had a flock of either mudhens or coots, I was not sure. After being the brunt of the classes laughter, Mr. Slaglel came to my rescue and told me that they were one in the same bird. I still remember that little fact, not that I see too many mudhens... or coots today. LOL.

·     He was a friend. With authority. No one even wanted to try to pull stuff on him, like many youths in a classroom will try. He earned… and had… our deepest respect. We WANTED to learn. We WANTED to make him even happier. And his constant happiness rubbed off on us every day. School was something we looked forward to each day.

·     He invited a few of us to join him on a couple of Saturdays to drive out and visit several areas where we might be able to take a class field trip to learn about wild nature.

·     We were deeply saddened when the end of the year came and we would have to move on to a new teacher… until he disclosed that he was ‘graduating’ with us, and he kept most of the class intact as we moved up into the 8th grade.

·     He put great trust in some of us to work unsupervised in the new building (which is the present one standing) in which we finished the second half of the 8th grade. That would not happen today.

Sometime before graduating from high school, I talked with him, and he asked what my intentions were. At that time, I was very much interested in being a “body man”, doing body and fender work on cars. I could see he was disappointed. He talked like he expected me to go a different direction, due to my math skills and interest in science.  

I worked the first year after high school at a local trucking company, as a mechanic and as a driver. After a year of working, I decided that college was my answer, so I married the boss’s daughter and moved away to attend college.

I attained my degree and my credential and started a career in teaching in the SF bay area. Many times during that first year, when a situation with students came up, I would stop and think “Now, how would Mr. Slagle handle this?”

As new teachers would join the staff, I would help them get started. And when I would observe them, I would rate them in my mind, as to how they would fare against my ideal, Mr. Slagle. Few came up to his qualifications, but they each heard some sound Slagle advice from me. I taught in the same school for 35 years before I retired at California’s expected age of 60 for teachers.

During that time, I completed requirements for an MA degree, an Administrative credential, and a Special Designated Subjects credential. I was originally hired to teach automotive lab in a new high school, but with a General Secondary credential, I was assigned other classes, including several type of math and Science classes. I created the school’s computer studies department, and with much help we built our own computers and taught computer programming classes in 1983, one of the only schools in the bay area to do that at that time. Each new step I took, Mr. Slagle was in my mind, guiding me.

Sadly, 160 miles separated us, so I seldom was able to see Gerald, but we were blessed with his joining us for our high school graduation reunions for several years. The “Class of ’59” has had a reunion every five years from the day we graduated (except we missed year ten), and when we could make it happen, it was always a highlight to have him with us. It was so special to have Gerald and Dolores join us in Oroville for our 55th reunion, the last time I was able to speak with him.

I am saddened that too often we learn so much about someone we love only from their eulogy. Why can’t we know these things about them when we can enjoy these things with them? During Gerald Slagle’s service, I was so delighted to learn of Gerald and Dolores’s faith and belief in God. Yes, Dolores, with a Capital “G”. And thank you, for sharing your wonderful story of your revelation at that very significant time.

I also learned that Mr. Slagle and I shared very similar political views. How I would have loved to sit and listen to his thoughts on God and Scripture and Politics. I was pleased to hear his granddaughter share that her grandpapa was so attentive he would take off his headphones and attend to her, even if he was listening to Rush Limbaugh. Another common interest.

I pray that we will again have the chance to share our thoughts, later on… up there... where politics no longer matter.

Teachers are still being made like Mr. Slagle. I pray that you will be blessed to have the chance to learn from one, like I was able to do.

My deepest condolences to you, for your great loss. He will always be my favorite teacher.

Ken L. Smith





Enjoyed your article.  Thanks for speaking for the class of 59.  See you Sept.28th

                                                                                                                     Joan (Adams) Casillas




Thanks Ken,  for keeping us up to date.

                                                                                                                     Leon & Susie Longacre




Now and again I enjoy listening to what we now refer to as “Classic” Country Western Music… country music that played a couple of decades ago. Some back as far as the Fifties, when we enjoyed “our” music in high school. When I got word, on the computer, that Mr. Slagle had passed away, I was listening to CW music, and shortly after I read the notice, the station played a song some of you may remember… it is still played on radio stations… called “El Paso”, and usually sung by Marty Robbins.

You may not be able to recognize it from the words…


“Out in the West Texas Town of El Paso

I fell in love with a Mexican girl

Nighttime would find me in Rosa’s Cantina

Music would play and Felina would whirl…”


A story about a young gunfighter who responded to a challenge from a young man and

 ‘ …in less than a heartbeat, the handsome young stranger lay dead on the ground…”,

So, our boy jumped on the nearest horse and headed for the hills, but soon returned for his beautiful maiden, only to be gunned down himself.

So, what does this all have to do with Mr. Slagle? Back in the fifties, my family attended a couple of the Butte County Fair Rodeos, and somewhere in the middle of the show, they played this song over the speaker system. Out in the rotunda, a handsome young stranger portrayed this young gunfighter, in a little play, complete with real horses. It was nicely done, and the crowd enjoyed it. The young star of the show was our very own Mr. Slagle. Not the person I knew in the classroom. He was a good rider. Being the first male teacher that I had studied under, I never thought of him actually being able to “DO” anything, like ride a horse, or as well as he did.

When I taught high school students, some would confess to me, when they would see me downtown shopping, or in a restaurant, that “teachers actually do things like real people do.” LOL.

I was pleasantly pleased to see, printed inside the program they handed out at Mr. Slagle’s service, where you usually see a short write-up of the loved one’s life, a song. What song?

“O give me a home, where the buffaloes roam

Where the deer and the antelope play… “

… All three verses were printed. And while Andrew Quist, one of Mr. Slagle’s many beautiful grandchildren played the song on the piano, we sang all three. It appears the song had a special meaning to Mr. Slagle, especially when his grandson would play it for him.

I have always thought of Mr. Slagle when I would hear “El Paso”, and now, when I hear it and think of his dramatic efforts in the rodeo… Gridley’s Stage… I will know that it was not just a passing fancy, but a side of Mr. Slagle that was deeper and longer lasting than I ever knew.

And… there is one more song that will bring me fond memories when I hear it being played.


                                                                                                                                                         Ken Smith













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Coach Ray Roberts  --  8th Grade






Joan (Murschel) Francis:

"I was in Coach Roberts' 8th grade class, don't remember who you (Mike Dahl) had. I considered him one of the finest teachers I had in all my years of schooling. I heard he passed away at 90 years of age and i was sorry to hear that."








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Orville and Bettie Harp   --  (4th Grade):





Hi Mike:

Thanks so much for thinking of us in the planning of the 1959 Class Reunion. We do appreciate it, but we are unable to attend.

Sounds like you have a great full weekend planned. Our best wishes for a wonderful time! Our memories of the 1959 class were they got things done!


                                                    Orville & Bettie Harp
















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Do You Have Another Teacher That You Would Like To Remember?

We learned recently that an old friend of ours,
Coach Jack Avina,
passed away at the age of 89 in Lafayette, California

Coach Avina was one of my PE teachers, and Shirley had him as her English teacher.
He was often referred to as "Laps, Avina", as that was his standiing solution
for someone that was out of line, or late to class.
"Take a lap, Copeland".
Afrer his time at GUHS, he moved into college basketball coaching, and was the basketball coach at
University of Portland from 1970 to 1987.
After that he coached in Turkey and Brazil and gave clinics worldwide.


"To that generation of guys, Dad changed their lives," says Joel Avina, who played for his father and coached with him for eight years on The Bluff. "He pushed them to be what they could be. The end result is, we got a lot of college graduates who have kids who became college graduates.

"Dad was the first college graduate in his family. Every one of his children graduated from college. He wanted the same for his players. When we recruited, that's what we talked to (the prospects) about. 'You can get an education and change your family's trajectory.' He was right. He did, and they did."


Our thoughts and prayers go out to
 all of our classmates that are faciing tough times and personal losses.
Hopefully they will let others know how they can help them through these tough times.

















We learned this week th


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Do You Have Another Teacher That You Would Like To Remember?