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February 8, 2016 - Not so fast: judge issues injunction on Michigan PA 269 ‘gag order’ campaign finance bill
February 8, 2016 - #337 Boyne City Gazette newspaper for Wednesday Feb. 10
February 6, 2016 - Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Summit coming February 11
February 5, 2016 - Boyne City Commissioners: no conflict of interest in Mayor Neidhamer’s planning commission seat
February 5, 2016 - Boyne City seeks $50k in Charevoix County park funds for pavilion, open space
February 4, 2016 - Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof files for 2016 race
February 4, 2016 - Boyne City Manager report for end of January 2016
February 4, 2016 - Property rights or preservation? Changes to Michigan’s Historic Districts would affect Charlevoix County
February 3, 2016 - Gov. Snyder budget plan includes $30 million request for Flint water bill repayments
February 3, 2016 - New Michigan law allows emergency contact to be linked to drivers license
February 3, 2016 - Petoskey area astronomer Mick Groszko: planets put on morning show
February 3, 2016 - OPINION: The case of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians vs. State of Michigan
February 2, 2016 - Charlevoix County’s State Rep. Triston Cole co-sponsors right to carry concealed guns without permit
February 2, 2016 - Humanity First USA donating water to Flint residents and you can help
February 2, 2016 - Charlevoix County College Sports Digest: Kylie Hicks of GVSU in spotlight for track & field
February 2, 2016 - EDITORIAL: Speak now or forever hear ‘I told you so’
February 1, 2016 - Charlevoix-Emmet ISD workshop: Is the personal curriculum right for your student?
February 1, 2016 - Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month: Mercer Harding Carey
February 1, 2016 - #336 Boyne City Gazette newspaper for Wednesday Feb. 3
January 30, 2016 - NCMC speaker will discuss safety, prevention of public shootings

Teacher and Friend

By: Chris Faulknor, Editor
editor@boynegazette.com
(231) 582-2799

Chris Faulknor, Editor

Laurie Howell, a long-time teacher at Boyne Falls Public School, died on Thursday, February 3rd.

For several of my high school years, I took her classes.  The wide range of classes she taught included Web Design, Business Management/Administration, Legal Careers, TV Production, Business Service and Technology, as well as coordinating the distance learning classes enabling high school students to take college classes in Boyne Falls.

Most of my time with Laurie Howell was in my work done for the school.  From eighth grade through my junior year, I spent countless hours working on the school website, repairing computers, and helping students learn the basics of computers.

I used to describe the relationship Laurie Howell and I had as a “love-hate relationship” – either we loved or we hated each other, there was often no middle ground.  We were two stubborn, proud people, and butted heads often, often far more severely than either of us would have liked.

That said, it is water under the bridge, as they say.

It is a widely shared belief that what truly defines a person’s life on Earth is what they leave behind when they die.  If that is the case, then Laurie Howell’s life was defined very well.  As I scrolled down my Facebook wall this morning, it was clear exactly what Laurie Howell left behind.  Posts popped up from students of years recent, and years long passed, all remembering what she taught them, even if they didn’t like it at the time.  Quotes people remembered from their time attributed to their teacher turned up as well.

  • “You truly changed my life and you were an outstanding teacher and friend. Rest well in Heaven, Mrs. Howell”
  • “The truth is guys people are going to talk about you behind your back whether you’re in high school or fifty six years old. You just have to know you’re better than that, and feel bad for them that they have nothing else better to talk about.” -Mrs. Howell
  • “She was the one to give you the push when you were scared to do what she knew we always could, she was always there to laugh with us, she was one of the greatest people i will ever know and now she is with god as sad as it is she isn’t with us to help the next generation and to continue to help us grow it is nice to know she will always watch over us”
  • “Mrs, Howell, a woman of strength, courage and determination. You always believed in each one of us and never gave up. You took us on a trip to Chicago and I will never forget how much fun Mr. Garver, you and I had at the Modern Arts Museum. You taught me more about myself than a lot of other teachers did. You will be missed and remember a lot. I will see you in Heaven someday!“
  • “I am so thankful that she showed us how to do job interviews because that has really helped me in the long run”

I often wonder what I will leave behind when my time comes.  I know that Laurie Howell has countless students who can write a good resume, fellow teachers who know to keep their inbox clean to save space on the computers, and many friends who will hear a unique, genuine laugh from Laurie Howell echo through their minds for years to come.

Me? I will remember the teacher that wrapped a student in aluminum foil, sending them into the gym to sing “If I Only Had a Heart.”  I will remember the teacher that donned a bright green vest and princess wand on the first say of school, declaring herself to be “Princess Lulu,” slowing taking the apprehension out of the room.  I will remember the teacher that brought business people into the school to interview 9th grade students to prepare them for the business world, scrambled in a panic to see that every senior class had the infamous Powerpoint of school photos at their graduation, and laughed an unforgettable laugh as her students groaned to her turning on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

It is a blessing to me that even though she is gone, the lessons learned from her will come with me.  Her theories of the “business world” can be seen as I go around practicing what she called “positive manipulation.”  I know in my heart that every one of her students has at least one of her many lessons to carry on.

To all who knew her, when you need to remember a teacher who would fight for anybody, remember Laurie Howell. Rest in Peace.

Chris Faulknor is the Editor of The Boyne City Gazette, and a long-time Boyne City native. His editorial column can be seen in The Boyne City Gazette each week.

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