Leon Wiskup will turn 90 next week, and unless he reads this paper, is unaware about a campaign underway to get as many of his former students as possible to send him a birthday card.
Wiskup, whose birthday is June 17, is a former Hoover High teacher who taught tenth-grade English for decades on the Glendale campus. He now lives in New Mexico.
One of his former students, Barbara Manly, said another former Hoover High teacher, Carroll Irwin, got the idea to flood Wiskup’s mailbox with well wishes, and she enlisted Manly, a 1970 graduate, to help spread the word.
Manly has been alerting former students on Facebook alumni pages tied to the school to send cards to Wiskup.
“He just had a way of teaching that stuck with you, “she said. “The response on Facebook has been astounding…It’s really going around. Everybody just thought this would be really cool.”
Manly said both Wiskup and Irwin have a reputation among graduates as teachers who made a lifelong impact on them.
“People are saying that those are the two teachers that really stayed with them,” Manly said.
Irwin said she taught eleventh- and twelfth-grade English at Hoover when Wiskup taught the tenth graders.
“If I had to choose the best teacher at Hoover High, I would have to choose him,” Irwin said.
“He brought me students who were bright and prepared and knew what do with a piece of literature. He made it come alive. They were so impressive because of what he did.”
Another former Hoover High teacher, Ann Coughlin, said that she began teaching at Hoover in 1963 when the campus was a three-story brick building.
She recalls Wiskup was an engaging storyteller who would captivate fellow teachers of his time in the military in Europe during World War II.
“Everybody on the faculty knew Leon Wiskup,” Coughlin said. “I would say he was one of the leaders. He was somebody who was well liked and respected.”
Graduates interested in sending Leon Wiskup a birthday card can address them to him at 133 Camino Rayo Del Sol in Corrales, New Mexico, 87048-6935
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.