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
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.