Doris Goble recalls a Will Rogers quip to sum up the joy she's found teaching: "Not everyone can be a hero. Someone has to stand on the curb and applaud," Doris said.
A 1994 Huntington alumna, Doris teaches American literature, advanced-placement English and workplace communications at Eastbrook High School, which is just a stone's throw south of Huntington.
Not only does Doris love to teach, she loves what she's teaching.
"English is a way to communicate ideas and emotions in a passionate way," Doris said. "I get to expose kids to brand-new ideas and help them express their own views clearly."
And, a mastery of the language never hurt anyone's chances of getting ahead in this world. "Proper speech and writing skills are keys to success," Doris said. "They give students more opportunities to be successful in any job."
Doris has very strong ties to her alma mater. Her father, Tom King, is a former athletic director and the longtime track and cross country coach. Her husband, Stuart, is a 1995 graduate. Doris' brothers, Rollin and Dan, and their wives, April and Carie, all attended Huntington.
"My father has worked at Huntington my entire life," Doris said. "He was the resident director at old Wright Hall the first two years of my life, so I was a dorm baby."
Still, when it came time to choose a college, Doris took a long look around before making her final decision. In the end, she couldn't find any grass greener. "I looked at lots of places, but I found a family atmosphere at Huntington that was completely different," Doris said. "Huntington offered me a high-quality education in a small-class setting.
"Huntington prepared me incredibly well for teaching," Doris continues. "The English department taught me to look at things in lots of different ways. The education department had me ready for the realities of today's classroom — the good and the bad. My professors taught me the importance of flexibility and organization. I've seen other young teachers struggle with discipline, organization and classroom management, but I never did. The Huntington program had me in the classroom frequently, so there weren't any big surprises when I got my own class."
College is more than classrooms, of course, and Doris and her roommate got a big surprise one night when their mattresses mysteriously disappeared and reappeared on the dorm lawn. "During my freshman year, we had the unofficial room wars on the first floor of Hardy Hall," Doris explains. "Harmless fun, silly pranks — those contests led to the strongest friendships. Several of us still vacation together each summer."
When she wasn't perpetrating clandestine capers, Doris was involved in student government and a member of a traveling music-ministry group. In 1994, she was named Lady Forester of the Year, an honor bestowed by both students and faculty for excellence in a number of areas, including academics, leadership and contributions to campus life.
"Huntington helped me develop confidence and to understand the value and necessity of dependence on God," Doris said. "My education also helped me to create a set of priorities and skills that I use daily."
Sadly, public schools are no longer places for public displays of faith, but Doris and husband Stuart — who teaches business and coaches football and track at Eastbrook — strive to set the Christian example.
"I think the greatest impact we have is letting kids see a strong Christian marriage," Doris said. "Stuart is in charge of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at our school, and that has opened up tremendous opportunities for each of us. In the classroom itself, I constantly emphasize respect for self and others. I want kids to know without a doubt that I care about them. So many of them don't have the certainty of unconditional love in their lives.
"Kids are kids," Doris adds. "They have so much more to deal with than I did at their age, but kids themselves aren't much different — they want to be loved and respected, and they want to be important. Are they a handful? Of course! But what a privilege it is to be teaching them."
And here we are, standing on the curb and applauding Doris, a heroine in her own right.
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