'Big Brother' watches Glendale teacher

Gary Moskowitz

An industrial technology and English teacher from Wilson Middle

School opted not to teach summer school this year when the chance to

win $500,000 came his way.

Gerry Lancaster is one of 12 people that appear on CBS' "Big

Brother 3," a reality television show whose winner will win the


Lancaster, 51, must spend up to three months in a house on the CBS

Studio Center lot in Studio City. As the 12 contestants eat, sleep

and participate in challenges for food and house privileges, they

also vote each week to evict one roommate.

To win, Lancaster must be the last contestant in the house.

Lancaster's wife, Deborah, and their three children, Morgan,

Geoffrey and Owynn, are excited for Lancaster to win but are anxious

for him to come home.

"For some strange reason, the lawnmower doesn't seem to be working

much lately," Deborah joked. "It's kind of a pain because we do so

much together. We really miss him a lot."

In a statement published on CBS' Web site, Lancaster said,

"I'll miss my tools and the time I spend fixing things around the

house and doing projects with my wife."

Lancaster has missed two family birthdays since moving into the

Studio City house and the couple's wedding anniversary is coming up

soon. He wore a T-shirt during filming that said "Happy Birthday,

Owynn," on his son's birthday.

Lancaster has taught in Glendale Unified for 12 years, first at

Rosemont Middle School before going to Wilson.

His long career in acting has included a stint with the American

Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, theaters in New York City and

years of commercial work in New York and Los Angeles.

Lancaster also appeared in the 1985 film, "Witness," which starred

Harrison Ford.

Fourteen-year-old Owynn Lancaster said the winning prize money

would help pay off part of the house and contribute to the many house

projects his parents enjoy doing.

"It's funny to watch him. It's kind of a dumb show that skews

perspectives of everyone but he does a good job," Owynn Lancaster


Wilson Assistant. Principal Debbie Rinder described Lancaster as a

well-liked teacher who thinks outside the box.

"Teaching is an art form, and Gerry's one of those teachers that

motivates students and engages them to learn," Rinder said.

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