Mrs. Morgan started at Hamburg High in the 1958-59 school year. When she started in ’58, science was just coming to the forefront of education with the launch of the Russian Sputnik Satellite the year previous. Up until her arrival, science curriculum sequence at HHS was for the 4-year college-bound science majors. Morgan introduced Micro Biology, which became a very popular course. Micro Biology offered a much wider scope of preparation for higher education after HHS.
Mrs. Morgan also developed the Microbiology course and wrote both the textbook used and lab workbook. These were purchased by the students, but in draft form / unpublished. It was a lab intensive course, much more than biology ever was. The course drew in a lot of female students when the sciences normally would have been reserved for those going into engineering or sciences in college. Morgan opened up the vision of professional possibilities beyond HHS for a many more females.
She also took charge of the Science Club. Given her likeability with students, membership in the club grew under her leadership. She was a teacher who made a difference. She was special and worthy of recognition.
Mrs. Morgan came from a family of science and medical achievers (9 siblings). Her one brother founded the Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He was a renowned Cancer researcher who is credited with pioneering chemotherapy treatment.
Morgan distinguished herself from the traditional teacher. She made new inroads and incentivized her students to greater achievement. She made friends with every one of her students and made them feel special. She retired in 1971 and passed away in March 2002. The Class of 1971 chose her to acknowledge in their ECHOES Yearbook dedication. A very heart felt dedication.
“Momma Meis” lived to age 95. She passed Nov 1, 2004. She retired from HHS in 1972. She started as Miss Birdsey 1937. She was a tall stature, striking woman with white hair and strong directive voice. She was front and center of many activities. She was the Senior High English teacher and much more to all of us.
The yearbook was her leadership. The theatrical performances were at her helm, as was the Make Up Club and National Honor Society. Social activities such as dances all were with her involvement. She was the one to have influence on us in our last steps of transitioning to adult hood.
She was active in the community and professional organizations, long into her retirement years. She had those qualities as a teacher that could inspire, stick with you, and help unlock your potential.
She was active in:
- AARP – National Chairwomen of committee looking to protect the rights of elderly
- Traveled to Washington DC to lobby lawmakers
- Business and Professional Women’s Club – Named Woman of the Year
- NYSERTA – NY State Retired Teachers Association (35,000 member Organization)
- Served as President (1st Woman) 1985-1988
- In 1995 received highest award of “1995 Certificate of Recognition Award”
- Inducted into the Delta Kappa Gamma, International Society for Women Educators
- World Who’s Who of Women 10th edition: listed in / awarded certificate of merit
- Chairman of 14 member NY State Legislative Committee
- In later days of career, spearheaded program to provide remedial reading improvements to Hamburg 2nd and 3rd graders
- Hamburg Garden Club, Hamburg Women’s Club, and Hamburg Antiques Society
- Active member and leader
- Presenter of Programs for Organization Mtgs across the country
Everyone loved Mr. Kosha. He was the cool 5th grade teacher at Pleasant Avenue School. He also made learning fun. You got to play seat ball in Mr. Kosha’s classroom AND he rode a motorcycle. No doubt many a 4th grader secretly hoped to have Kosha’s name written on their report card as their teacher assignment for the following year. He treated the kids with respect, made them laugh, and always had a story to tell.
Dick Kosha was born in Lackawanna, New York in 1948 and grew up in Blasdell. “I attribute my interest in teaching to my freshman year at Northern Michigan University,” said Kosha. Upon graduation in 1970, Dick was hired to teach 5th grade at Union Pleasant Elementary School. With a teaching career that spanned 37 years, Kosha was surrounded by a wonderful and dedicated staff at the Union Pleasant School. “I was proud to have been on a faculty with so many talented, supportive, and creative educators,” recalled Kosha.
For the first 18 years of his teaching career, Kosha also served the community he grew up in as a Village of Blasdell Police Officer. “We were lucky to have so much energy when we were young,” said Kosha.
Retired from both careers with his lovely wife Pam, Dick enjoys traveling and spending time with their son Jason, Jason’s wife Lauren, and their 2 grandsons Michael and Harry, who live in Merrick, New York. “They have enriched our lives,” said Kosha. He also continues to be an avid hunter and loyal Bills fan.
“I am very grateful for the many years I taught and fortunate to have been a part of a wonderful institution in Hamburg and a proud member of a superb faculty,” recalled Kosha. “I am blessed to have had a great career in education. In 37 years of teaching, I feel like I not only touched a lot of lives, but those lives and experiences will forever be held close to my heart. Thank you Hamburg Central.”
Diane always wanted to be a teacher. Because she excelled in math, she entered D’Youville College to become a Mathematics teacher, but after her freshman year and 2 calculus courses later, she switched her major to Spanish, her other favorite subject. After teaching Spanish for 35 years, she realized it was a wise decision. Diane went back and earned her math certification which helped her secure a position at the Hamburg JHS. Initially she taught ninth grade Spanish and subsequently the new Spanish 7th and 8th grade courses for which she and her colleagues developed a new curriculum. It was a successful “no-textbook” program with 20 units of personally crafted material by Diane and her colleagues. A great deal of teacher collaboration went into the development of these inaugural courses that included a variety of core topics. The course was executed in a conversational way that allowed the students to become adept in conversing/reading/writing about everyday activities.
For a few years Diane taught 10 classes of Spanish 7 on alternating days. Despite teaching 10 classes of the same course, she never got bored. She recognized that each student was unique and that each class had its own personality, so she accommodated for the needs of each class.
Diane was asked to split time between the JHS and SHS. At the SHS, Diane taught multiple Spanish classes, from Level 1 to 4AP. Due to her versatility, she even taught a French 1 class when asked. She worked with dedicated professionals in her department at both schools, Carol Nelson, Bill McCormick and Patty Hall, who shared both ideas and materials that would enhance the learning environment.
An accomplishment she cherishes when teaching Sp4AP was providing students with an alternate way to obtain college credit. Each year several students who could not fit level 5AP into their schedule, took and passed the difficult Spanish CLEP test and earned college credit. Also rewarding was having several of her former students become Spanish teachers themselves, one currently at the HS. Further, she enjoyed being a Spanish Club leader hosting several fun activities for the students.
After retiring from Hamburg, Diane went on to tutor the homebound and teach Spanish at Hilbert College & ECC South for several years.
Diane recently celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary with her husband, Eugene. She has two married daughters, Michelle and Lisa, and two granddaughters. Teaching has been a very rewarding career and she could not have made a better career choice. She is now enjoying retirement, spending time with her family.
A native of Fredonia and a graduate of Fredonia State College, Katherine Schuler began her Hamburg teaching career in 1940. She was in charge of vocal and choral music, grades 1— 12. Miss Schuler, in addition to directing the regular choruses, formed a girls’ septet and elementary boys’ choir, continuing to build the mixed and a cappella choirs. After centralization, she worked in the junior high, starting a Select Choir, and in 1970, moved to the high school and formed a Madrigal Group. These ensembles performed in school concerts, for community groups, and area music contests. In 1974, the Madrigals sang at the NYSSMA All-State Festival in Kiamesha Lake, NY. She married Homer Fiero in 1946. For three summers, she earned credits toward her Masters Degree while her husband was finishing his Masters at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For many years she participated as an active member of the Erie Count-v. Music Educators’ Association and was Chairperson of the All-State Chorus in 1976. Mrs. Fiero was an excellent music teacher and insisted on the use of solid vocal techniques. Total dedication, amazing energy and a spirit of joy and caring were the hallmarks of her decades of teaching. As one student so aptly wrote on a picture he gave to her, “To the greatest teacher, advisor, “mother”, friend, and person I have ever known, I’ll love you always.” She desired above all that her students learn valuable singing skills and enjoy the process. Mrs. Katherine Schuler Fiero will long be remembered in the hearts of those who knew her as teacher, mentor and friend.