Students and staff at Vancleave High School are sharing their memories of one of their favorite teachers following his death due to COVID-19 complications this past Sunday.
Students and staff at Vancleave High School are mourning the loss of a beloved teacher. Tom Slade’s classroom is filled with reminders of the impact he had on students and teachers alike. Principal Raina Holmes said, “Just a great faculty member. He was kind of like the father to all the teachers and he mentored several teachers and was just here, always had coffee ready for teachers and just available for everyone at all times.”
Slade was a 1984 graduate of Vancleave High and returned to teach at the school in 1991, spending time shaping the minds of students there as well as MGCCC over the course of his career. Principal Raina Holmes once shared a classroom with Slade as a teacher and says Slade’s loss will be felt by so many students and staff, both past and present. “It’s just not something that you can prepare for, it’s definitely not something that, you know, you ever dream of happening to such a figure for your community and for your school.”
Slade’s students point to his sense of humor and kindness as some of the ways he made learning about history fun. Student Molly Rogers said, “He always had jokes to go along with the word of the day he used to always talk about, so he not only taught us history, but he taught us how to make our vocabulary bigger than it already is.”
Student Connor Sherman said, “I had only had him for like three weeks but I’m going to remember like this class and everything that he taught us forever.”
Others point to his dedication to making sure each and every student had the chance to understand their classwork. Student Connor Vickery said, “He would always like, give us the work and then go back over it with us, so then we would have the answers right so then we would know what to prepare for for our tests.”
As the Vancleave community rallies around his family, raising over $9,000 so far on a GoFundMe, which can be found here, Slade’s legacy will live on for years to come through his students. “Just keep on shining up there for us Mr. Slade.”