Lincoln High School Statesman

Serving beyond the classroom

Tolle playing his backpack mandolin that he brought with him to many of the countries while he served.

Tolle playing his backpack mandolin that he brought with him to many of the countries while he served.

Gage Gramlick & Caleb Miller

Gage Gramlick & Caleb Miller

Tolle playing his backpack mandolin that he brought with him to many of the countries while he served.

Caleb Miller, Journalism Student

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They are one of the most influential characters in our lives each day. They push us, drive us and scare us to become our best selves. Our teachers. And while LHS has a large variety among its staff as far as interests and personalities go, among its ranks exists some of the most committed teachers of all. Teachers that have put themselves beyond the classroom and have been willing to give the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve our schools, our cities and our nation. The teachers that have served in the armed forces.

Glenn Tolle is an English II teacher as well as the adviser of the LHS Chess Club. He was able to serve our nation for 28 years, four months and one day exactly. Coming out as a Lieutenant Colonel, he has gained many lifelong skills, many of which, he hopes to use in the classroom.

“I learned patience, a good sense of humor, toughness and a respect for time,” said Tolle.

He has had a passion to serve his country, but his choice in serving was not something new in his family. Rather, it has almost been a tradition with many of his ancestors to bring themselves to the front lines.

“It’s considered a duty in my family to put on the uniform,” said Tolle.

After serving he was able to transition into teaching. Going through the program Troops to Teachers, an organization that encourages military personnel to become educators, he went from serving abroad, to serving the communities right here at home. And while it has obviously helped him as an individual, he believes that there is a greater purpose in mind with the program.

“When less than one percent of the US serves in the military, it is important to get a military presence in the classroom so that the nation can appreciate the culture and the service of those that have put on the uniform,” said Tolle.

He also hopes to bring more values to students while being such an important person in their everyday lives, and he is not the only one. Michael Jones teaches personal finance and helps manage the school store. And although he sees patriotism as a large issue for our generations of today, he hopes that he can provide an understanding to the students of our nation’s values so they may better recognize what it stands for.

“When I see people doing the pledge, I’m kind of torn because people should understand what the pledge is about and not just stand up and just say the pledge,” said Jones.

But while they are both hoping for those students to realize the values that make this nation great, they are confident in its youth and what they will be able to do with the country’s future.

“I think that this generation really has a lot of hidden possibilities that people don’t realize. It’s very easy to focus on the negative things that youth do, but they’re learning who they are and I’m very confident that the overwhelming majority of the students here at Lincoln High School, and this generation as a whole. When they get to become adults they will learn what this country’s about, what it stands for and the opportunities that it offers everybody within our borders,” said Jones.

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