One day when Dunkleberger was visiting the school, he and Principal David Booz walked over to Foor-Hogue's room. It was empty, but they heard banging and hammering from behind a tarp curtaining off one corner.
Foor-Hogue emerged, covered with dust, and said, "That's where the hole in the wall is going for the wind tunnel."
"It was the first I had heard about it," Dunkleberger said. "And I could tell from the look on David Booz's face that it was the first he'd heard about it, too."
His knack for taking the class outdoors made the September issue of Woman's Day magazine, in an article on eight school programs that work, highlighting the service to the community his class performs.
For more than eight years, the students have been tending and restoring the wetlands behind their school. A carefully planned path allows science and photography students to use the wooded area. A year ago, three of his students designed and built a wheelchair-accessible wooden-planked path and bridge into the wetlands.
Foor-Hogue wrote of the experience as the greatest single event of his career, because of the profound effect he saw on a 17-year-old handicapped student on his first day on the path:
"They paused to touch a 200-year-old tulip poplar and to examine a bloodroot plant," Foor-Hogue wrote. "A student broke open the bloodroot and explained how the Indian suitor applied the blood-red sap to the palm of his hand so a woman would fall under his spell when their hands touched.
"A variety of birds streaked overhead. The woods were alive with sights, sounds and smells. Trout darted between shadows only a few feet away in a dance that had not occurred for many years. As [the handicapped student] rolled onto the bridge, he looked over to my students with a tear in his eye and announced that he had never been in the woods, and never expected to hear a trout stream. At that moment, both his life and ours were changed forever."
Pub Date: 10/04/97