Secret Lives of Teachers

Mr. Lex volunteers with wildlife
Feathers are flying, owls are hooting, and Chemistry teacher Mr. Lex is right at home among these birds of prey. Every other Saturday Mr. Lex spends his time at Richardson Nature Center, cleaning out cages and making sure these birds are healthy. “We check to make sure they are healthy by looking at their feathers, making sure the pellets they cough up aren’t bloody, and we also hose down the cages,” said Mr. Lex, who began volunteering here about four ago. “The place is really close to my house, and I have gotten to really like the people that work there,” said Mr. Lex. The nature center also has special events where they teach the kids about the birds through fun events and demonstrations. (sara schlueter)

Mr. Keefe’s home on the range
After a long day of listening to banging drums, honking trumpets, and squeaky saxophones, band director Mr. Keefe finds calm on his ten acre farm in Waverly, located 38 miles from BSM. “The country is so peaceful and quiet. I like it much more than the city,” said Mr. Keefe. Mr. Keefe grew up only a few miles from Benilde High School, but decided to make the switch to the country where his wife grew up. On their farm, the Keefes once had livestock that included chickens, horses, pigs, and goats, but right now the family only has chickens. Among some of the duties of farm life, the Keefe’s gather the eggs from the chickens, and maintain their vegetable garden, which is what supplies them through the year. “At one point we did have three pigs, Pork Chop, Wiener, and Irene. I transported them in my station wagon, and I have decided not to have pigs again,” said Mr. Keefe. The Keefes almost bought an alpaca and planned on having an alpaca farm, but decided not to because of expense. (sara schlueter)

Ms. Walsh trades in classes for cuts and colors at a hair salon
When the school day ends at 2:30, theology teacher Ms. Walsh’s focus shifts from a world of tests and homework to one of scissors and razors––that of H. Design. Located in Uptown on Lyndale Avenue, H. Design is a small hair salon, and it is here that Ms. Walsh holds a part-time job as a receptionist. Having worked here since 2002, Ms. Walsh says that her teaching rarely interferes with her job at H. Design, and vice versa. According to Ms. Walsh, the best part of this job is “[getting] a good deal on my haircuts, my colors, and my products.” (sean buckhorn)

Mr. Hanson rocks out after school hours
For Mr. Casey Hanson, playing in front of 2,000 people at an outdoor hog roast was the highlight of his musical career. Mr. Hanson has been in a band since high school but his current band, Square One, has only been together for approximately a year. “Our band is all teachers and there are five of us,” said Mr. Hanson. With his busy life of teaching gym and being the new coach of ping-pong, the band only has time to get together about once or twice a month. Mr. Hanson is the lead singer and also plays the rhythm guitar. “We are classified as a rock blues country jam band,” said Mr. Hanson. His band plays mostly cover songs and has played at various events. “We have played at weddings, reunions, grad parties, birthdays, private gigs, and even outdoors,” said Mr. Hanson. (mira friedlander)

Mr. Bowler’s green ride to school
When the weather is nice, Mr. Dan Bowler enjoys riding his new Buddy 50cc moped. “I have always wanted a scooter, and so I started looking at scooters when gas prices were so high,” said Mr. Bowler. His tangerine colored moped gets about 100 miles to the gallon and has a max cruising speed of 30mph. “It’s technically classified as a moped, so I don’t have to have a motorcycle license, but that also means that the maximum speed is inhibited,” said Mr. Bowler. Yet, he says that his scooter goes plenty fast, especially since you feel everything when you ride a scooter. “You have to watch out for everything, because you can feel the smallest bumps,” said Mr. Bowler. He always wears his black helmet and enjoys riding his scooter in the fall, spring, or whenever the weather allows. (mary musilek)

Mrs. Seppala takes math skills out of the classroom
Not only are saunas relaxing to use, but for Mrs. Mary Seppala, saunas are even enjoyable to build. “We’ve always had a sauna, and we’ve always built one,” said Mrs. Seppala. When Mrs. Seppala met her husband, she took her love of saunas even further. “My husband is Finnish and they invented the sauna, and so my dad and I built one as a present for my husband,” said Mrs. Seppala. After designing the sauna, she purchases lumber, a stove, and a door, and begins building. Mrs. Seppala has helped to make four saunas, including an octagon shaped sauna for her brother. With her skills as a math teacher and her father’s as an engineer, the building process runs smoothly and has become one of her hobbies. (mary musilek)

Art teacher Ms. Main harbors secret passion for smashing cars
The smashing of cars, the flying of mud, and the revving of engines: not what one would expect from a BSM teacher. However, art teacher Ms. Main harbors a love for demolition derbies that surprises all. “I love the huge hits, and I love all the mud,” said Ms. Main, “I’ve been watching [demolition derbies] since I was eight, and my brother has been driving in demolition derbies for 22 years.” Ms. Main attempted to compete in a demolition derby last summer, but was unable to find a car. She hopes to participate in a competition next summer with her sister-in-law, and she is planning on driving “either a mini-van or a compact car.” (sean buckhorn)