What Mr. Cave meant to the BSM community
As Mr. Cave leaves BSM, we give him all of our respect and thanks for the significant impact he had on so many students. His visions of education in the junior high, the unique travel opportunities he presented, and the passion he shared out on the soccer field have changed and inspired years of BSM graduates.
Through the awkward, uncomfortable stages of junior high, Mr. Cave breathed creativity and imagination into the education of many. Whether students participated in the infamous American Experience or just regular US History, every eighth grader had the honor of being taught by this extraordinarily gifted teacher and person, and through him we learned many things.
We learned that in a world of Social Darwinism Mr. Cave was the giant lion (and Mr. Sylvester was the weak antelope). We learned that transcendentalism is a lot like Star Wars, and that powerpoints are always better with sound effects. We saw Mr. Cave go through about five boxes of dental floss per day as he wrapped his neglected fingertip within its minty fresh grasp (to cut off the flow of supplies in the Civil War, of course). We contemplated how one person could drink so many Monsters in one day. It was a learning environment like no other; one that for many remains uncontested by any other teacher.
Mr. Cave’s efforts extended outside of the classroom, for Cave demonstrated a remarkable care for the world. His hopes for awareness led him to create a class for eighth graders called Global Topics and Social Justice, exposing BSM to a whole new scope of international opportunities that have developed a outlook on the world that may never have been nourished; opportunities that have changed lives.
His innovative ideas for travel and possibility at the high school level created an opportunity to experience new cultures and learn about the monumental genocide in Rwanda for two separate groups of twenty students in the past three years. The memories of those who traveled to Rwanda with Mr. Cave will never be forgotten. He made sure every student was safe and happy, yet still challenged them to go on gorilla treks, eat goat meat, and speak with survivors of one of the most gruesome events in history. He encouraged students to fully immerse themselves in the foreign culture by learning the Kinyarwandan language, residing in authentic guest houses, and exploring the towns. This trip swayed many students in their college and degree choices by exposing them to an interesting new life passion.
Out on the soccer field, Cave was the kind of coach that you may only come across once in your life, if at all. He is a role model to every player who has ever had the chance to listen to one of his coaching-points-turned-life-lessons. He made soccer into something invaluable and indescribable—something much bigger than the trophies he helped our school to win. His positive energy was contagious, his knowledge of the game was an irreplaceable asset, and his passion for life was something to learn from. Even the worst day could be put behind you with his never-ending sarcastic remarks, “your mom” jokes, and artsy iPhone pictures.
Mr. James Cave made countless positive changes to BSM, through starting new junior high classes, forging a new relationship with an entire African country (even bringing a student from Rwanda to our school), and leading the girls’ soccer team to success year after year. We can only imagine what good this man can do with the rest of his teaching career, and we wish him all the best.