The final days of Woodstock’s statistician

David L.

Staff Writer

Ten years ago, Mr. John Bell walked through the doors of Woodstock High School, leaving behind his past in order to make a new future for himself. Though he has brought much to this school through academics, spirit, hard work, and school policy, this year is marked as his last before finally leaving his astounding legacy behind. Many know Mr. Bell as the AP Statistics teacher here at Woodstock, but even more know him as this year’s 4th period rotunda lunch monitor. His contributions to WHS education have stood out among education standards.

Before Mr. Bell became a teacher at Woodstock, he served 29 years in the United States Air Force. He reached the rank of Colonel, served in the Vietnam War, and served as Diplomat in Bulgaria. His vast experience and knowledge then took him to the State Department where he worked in a division that was responsible for formulating and implementing U.S. foreign policy in Europe. Mr. Bell was proud of the way he was serving, but he sought to see the true benefit of his work for his beloved country. He stated, “I spent over 29 years serving my country, but I needed something more tangible, so I saw serving my community as a teacher would be another great benefit that I could watch and see the results.” Mr. Bell’s patriotism and adoration for his nation is something that all should look up to for a life example. Mrs. Krista Webb, AP World and U.S. History teacher who has known Mr. Bell for ten years now, says, “Mr. Bell is an excellent and outstanding teacher and is a true role model for people young and old.”

Ten years ago, Mr. Bell entered the facility of Woodstock High School to attain a job here, bringing with him degrees from several schools including Oklahoma Christian College, Webster University in St. Louis, Air Force University of Technology, and Nova University in Southeastern Florida.  With such an impressive experience and education, Mr. Bell immediately began teaching regular math classes and was even recognized in 2005-2006 as the Woodstock High School Teacher of Year. The next year he became certified to teach gifted and honors students.  After his certification, he began teaching AP Statistics, which quickly became his favorite class. Mr. Bell stated, “I probably enjoy teaching AP Statistics the most because I believe that it has real practical use beyond school.” Statistics is seen to be increasingly useful in many fields of study such as science, other forms of math, and even in history.

Mr. Bell’s teaching style is one that proves to be very successful. In the past three years, he has maintained a pass-rate greater than 90%, and his students on average perform approximately 60% greater than the average score of all AP Statistics exams administered. Luke Chamberlin, a Woodstock High School junior, says, “I am evidence of Mr. Bell’s success.” Mr. Bell most likely finds such great success in that the students are very attentive in his class. Junior Rachael Steppe says, “When I took AP Statistics with Mr. Bell last year, he told so many funny stories that really kept me interested.” Mrs. Webb adds, “I love Mr. Bell’s stories, especially his military ones. I feel that he is a great man that the students can really identify with.” From such data, it is easily concluded that Mr. Bell has brought a remarkable contribution to Woodstock High School through academics and other fields.

Currently, Mr. Bell enjoys a plethora of activities outside his teaching hours. His life is definitely not just one of being a teacher. He is also a loving husband to his wife and a proud grandfather to his two grandsons. Mr. Bell takes the utmost joy and pride in regularly spending time with his grandsons, attending their soccer games and taking them special places. Mr. Bell also enjoys hobbies of biking and golfing, saying, “I really enjoy biking. I have biked Blankets Creek down on Sixes a few times, but my favorite place is the Silver Comet Trail.”

In the near future, when Mr. Bell officially retires, he has some plans to what will become of his life. He will spend much more time golfing because he expresses a great love for the game. He also enjoys soccer games and plans on attending as many as possible, but his greatest desires are of traveling the world. Though he has been on many trips around the world, especially Europe, he recognizes that there is still an abundance of places that he would like to see such as Prague, in the Czech Republic. Mr. Bell says, “Probably the most incredible place I have visited has been Prague. When I went there, it was like nothing I have ever seen before, absolutely fascinating and beautiful.” He fully recommends this destination next time anyone travels to Europe. Mr. Bell finds himself prepared but also unprepared for what he is about to face in his imminent retirement.

Mr. Bell has served this country over and over and over again from services through war, politics, and his most prized job of teaching. Mrs. Webb says, “I am very happy for Mr. Bell in that he will have more time to spend with his family and on other opportunities, but I am very sad to see him leave.” Chamberlin says, “I don’t know what this school will be without Mr. Bell; he is my greatest role model.” Woodstock High School will forever remember the honorable and perusing legacy that Mr. John Bell will leave behind.

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