Some recent additions
to our Guest Book...
Mr. Georges was a great motivator, role model, and probably the best teacher I ever had. He still has an impact. I often dream
that I failed to study for the weekly vocab quiz!
Class of 1973
I loved Mr. Georges. I remember studying with Albe Sarno and Kit Wilson (who once was ousted from class.) I remember vocabulary:
the roots of words -- per -- through, like a percolater; truculent - not a Chevy you loaned your brother-in-law; allay, assuage,
alleviate, calm -- remember those five words a day? There are so many fond memories. Three-hundred word essays in fifty minutes
were a real challenge. I am a nurse who enjoyed the best grades on papers in college,thanks to Mr. Georges.
Class of 1973
Editor's note: Kit Wilson, please let us hear from you!
Mr. Georges demanded excellence. He fired up our imaginations
and taught us to excel. He made such an impression on my life. I have carried the love of the English language with me to
this day. Thank you for that gift!
Kathy Peterson (Hagberg)
Class of 1976
don't think a day goes by that I don't use the countless English lessons that were so effectively ingrained in me by Mr. Georges!
However, I do find myself woefully unprepared to provide the same benefit to my children, and wish they could have the advantge
of an English teacher of the same caliber. Alas, he was one of a kind.
Class of 1973
Mr. Georges put up with a lot from our senior class. I remember Steve Archambault as the "class
clown" and how Mr. Georges so graciously dealt with him. I am very grateful for the writing skills he taught me.
Rosalie Howard Jones
Class of 1969
reputation preceded him. Truth- woven with just enough exaggeration and fable- was potent enough to strike a mixture of awe
and fear in any new student. Mr. Georges did more than teach English. He impacted lives. I think of him often. By the way,
"49A love it or leave it" was first coined by me on a T-shirt I wore in May, 1976. On that day, Dave Gilbert and I placed
Mr. Georges' desk on 16" blocks so that he was scarcely able to look over it. Though we never admitted doing such a thing,
Mr. Georges knew the culprits. Though we offered to take the desk down, in good natured fun, Mr. Georges allowed the desk
to stay for a couple of periods. He had seen the front of my shirt before - "John Georges Fan Club." As we set down the desk
and carried off the blocks, he saw the back of my shirt for the first time - "49A - love it or leave it." He burst into laughter.
Thank you, Mr. Georges, for all you did for so many.
Class of 1976
can only agree with everyone else, he was simply the finest teacher ever. When we walked into 49A in September, it was an
accepted fact that we knew nothing, but John Georges had a cure for that, those two little daily quizes. It didn't take us
long to discover that we were always responsible for knowing everything he ever covered in class. Wow, a teacher who actually
expected us to LEARN the material. Just last week my husband (PhD in physics) asked me if something he had written needed
a comma. I read it and said it did because it had a "long introductory prepositional phrase." He asked how long "long" was,
and I said, five or more words. "How do you know that!" Mr Georges said so. To this day I always feel certain of what he taught
us, and that's a wonderful gift to have been given. I too was an English teacher, but never up to his standard. I used to
love going to countywide meetings for English teachers once I learned JG would be there too. We all remember the flying erasers
when we talked or passed notes in class, so I treasured for years the notes he used to write me at those meetings. He was
so proud of all of us and watched us build on what he had taught us. There was none better, ever.
Susan (Dewar) Martin
What a wonderful website! Mr. Georges gave me the tools and confidence
to succeed in college and beyond. There was something magic about those important fundamentals that he taught us. I associate
Mr. Georges with each of those vocabulary words. It's hard to read a book without thinking of him several times. Who can see
the word 'abattoir' and NOT think of Mr. Georges? (Yes, we knew those "a" words the best.) I am the opposite of a packrat;
I throw out cherished baby clothes, trophies, and art projects. I have not a shred of notes or books from my college days,
but I still have all of the notes and word lists from Mr. Georges's class. Why couldn't I ever throw them out? Readers of
this site know the answer to that. Thank you Mr. Georges for choosing to be a teacher.
Barb (Dresselhaus) Takahashi
Class of 1978
My favorite teacher of all time! I still think about him as I review reports at work and suggest
corrections for run on sentences and other grammatical errors.
Class of 1982
Mr. Georges was a super guy- one of my high school coaches and heroes. Besides being a great
teacher, he was always a great leader of the guys and gals of my class.
Class of 1953
Mr. Georges was great!
Class of 1956
I was going thru a box of *stuff* last week, looking for a birth certificate, and found an essay
I wrote. It was for an American Legion contest, and Mr. Georges encouraged me to write it. As it turned out, I won first place,
but then had to turn the essay into a speech! I did that, too, with much encouragement from Mr. G. The topic was *The Four
Freedoms*. It's still a good essay!
Ruthannis (Hurd) Lekson
Class of 1952
first day in Mr. Georges' Jr. English class: "Miss Burns, are you related to John Burns? If so, I do hope you don't spend
as much time sitting outside the door." My older brother clearly set an unfortunate and embarrassing precedent. Many wonderful
memories of diagramming complicated sentences, taking daily vocab and grammar quizzes, thinking of a new twist for the Monday
morning essay topic.... Hard to imagine that an English teacher could change lives... but this man did. He did so much more
than teach us grammar. He taught us to think, to question, to stretch our intellect. How blessed we were that he chose to
devote his life to us.
Class of 1964
What a tribute to
a great man- I can hardly wait to tell my brothers from the Classes of '61 and '68. I think my brother Rick is fighting the
Battle of Hastings in the Room 49A Photo Album.
Class of 1966
(Thanks, Darby- we've
been waiting to hear just what WAS going on in that picture!)
(Editor's Note: Darby's brother, Rick Walker, Class of 1961, sheds
some more light on the mysterious "Battle of Hastings" photo:)
What a delight to see the EHS website
with Mr. Georges’ biographical info, etc. The 1961 Gong picture re the Battle of Hastings
is a re-enactment which Danny Reese and I did in class. As I recall, Mr. Georges was unaware of it until it happened, and
really couldn’t decide whether to go with it, since it was “educational”, or to throw us out! Thanks for the tribute to a great teacher, who helped prepare us all so well for life.
Class of 1961
had more influence on my life than any other teacher I've ever had. I always wanted to be an English teacher, but somehow
I ended up becoming a court reporter. The skills I learned in his class have enabled me to excel at my job because of the
proofreading skills and spelling background that I was given. We all loved Mr. Georges so much that I even remember a group
of us trying to find his house to surprise him on his birthday, the Ides of March, or March 15th. I only wish there were still
English teachers like him around today. Our children are lacking so much without teachers like Mr. Georges in their lives.
There will never be another John Georges. He was one of a kind.
Class of 1978
He was a wonderful teacher. I thought he was so hard and wanted out of his class. I ended up
in another English class for 3 days and decided I wanted to come back. I remember him looking at me and saying, "I knew you'd
be back." It was the toughest English class I ever had but the best. I'm glad I came back and stuck it out. He was the best!!!
Cheryl (Scibilia) Brandstrom
Class of 1976
was in a class by himself. Marvelous man and teacher who understood the value of discipline and the benefits it bestows. And
he was very funny. Bless him!
Class of 1964
Lifetime Member, Calif. Scholastic Federation, Thanks to Mr. Georges!
I was a three-year veteran of John Georges. I will never forget him! I got the highest scores in English placement
exams at University of Pacific my Freshman year--way ahead of the next highest, all because of J.G. It's one heck of a teacher
you remember 45 years later in vivid detail. I'll never forget him bouncing chalk off David Cabrera's head or the weekly vocabulary
tests. And the best quote of all? "Even Hoicules had his ferbles."
Robin Adams McBride, Class of 1960
I remember one time we were correcting the infernal vocab tests that
a regular annoyance (mostly because I never did very well). I
happened to get a particularly difficult word correct.
loudly, "Now I'm cooking with gas!". Mr. Georges spun on his heels
and said "Yes, Mr. Duley,
but the rest of us are cooking with
I think of him often and I cried when I read he had passed.
It is a
rare individual who can stir such lasting feelings after only one
year of contact.
Duley, Class of 1978
Loved Mr. Georges. I had the best and hardest
two years in his classes.
Kirt Willis, Class of 1967
Came across this site while idly surfing the web. Mr. Georges was one of my favorite teachers. His class was the bright spot
of my day. He treated all of us with respect and made English an enjoyable subject. Wonderful site!!!!
Susan Seabaugh, Class of 1974
I'll never forget Mr.Georges or his class. He taught the skills one needs to think inductively and communicate effectively.
Of the many fine teachers I've had, he was among the best.
Jeff Baker, Class of 1974
Great man who made sure you learned the value of literature whether you wanted to or not! Walking in his class in the morning,
you were greeted by his old 78 records playing some kind of 50's big band music. Man I wish I was drinking coffee then! He
was never overly cheery, but kindly, yet tough-he expected exactly what he knew you were capable of. In retrospect, he was
one of the finest teachers I've ever had. Wish my kids will meet someone like him. He made a difference.
Robin (Escalante) Gonzalez, Class of 1981
I had him for two years. (I remember) the quizzes. When my name was called to give my grade on the honor system and I had
two 100's, I would say, "A brace of sublime parchments." He still makes me think.
Class of 1975
Room 49A Honor Roll
Each of your messages and memories are very precious to all of
us. We would like to give particular recognition to these contributors:
Joanne Saffiote Kolman, Class of 1972
Joanne recently sent us a Rm. 49A artifact that we thought was lost forever: the
complete text of "The Ballad of Big Bad John Georges," written by those musically gifted Class of '71 members, Myron Oakes,
Mark Rodgers, and Nick Neglia. Click on the panel on the right to see this unforgettable masterpiece!
Pat Paluso, Class of 1966
Pat recently scanned and sent us a great picture from the 1965 Gong. See this unforgettable
memory of an unsuspecting Mr. Georges being deluged by newspapers in the doorway of Rm. 49A on our Photo Album page!
The Entire Class of 1952
These Cougars are still going strong!
Thanks to Ruthannis Hurd Lekson for spreading the news about ehs49a.com in the
class newsletter. She says of the Class of 1952, "I don't think I have been to one gathering of classmates when Mr. Georges
wasn't mentioned with love!"
The Entire Class of 1957
Thanks for your great stories about attending Mr. Georges' classes in canvas tents!
These "tent brigade" Cougars deserve special mention! Read some of their fascinating memories below.
The Entire Class of 1963
You are the greatest! Thanks to all of you for being so supportive, and especially
to Jacquelin Cullens Balogh for placing a link to ehs49a.com on the Class of 1963 website.
Go to our Links page and visit their website to see the great pictures from their
40th reunion last summer!
Heidi Breylinger Delle, Class of 1978
Heidi sent us a complete set of vocabulary words, and described a wonderful memory
of the Class of 1978 giving a birthday party for Mr. Georges in March, 1978. The class presented him with a t-shirt that said,
"49A: Love it or leave it!"
Linda Olson Steege, Class of 1963
Linda sent us a complete set of vocabulary words from 1963- she had kept them
during 40 years of moving and was kind enough to share them! Linda said that "Mr. Georges was a rare teacher, one who inspired
his students to do their best."
Norman Weibel, Class of 1952
Norman sent us a great picture (see it on the Photo Album
page) of Mr. Georges coaching the original EHS wrestling team. Norman said that "We loved, revered, and respected him as we
did no other teacher in the school. We also put out more effort for him than for anyone else."
Gary Breylinger, Class of 1952
Gary sent us a wonderful picture (see it on the Photo Album
page) of an EUHS Freshman "dink" cap and a 1949 Gong! Gary said, "Of all the outstanding memories of John Georges,
the most meaningful was the sound of Taps played over the grave of a wonderful man who enriched so many lives."
(Thanks, Gary- your kind words inspired us to keep this website going.)
From Our Guestbook:
The great Class of 1957 is spreading the word
about our website! We received the following wonderful memories from them recently:
"Started the school day in the best way -- a canvas tent with a wood floor and a teacher who extracted the best from
his students. Even though my major and great love was art, during my senior year my absolute favorite class was English with
Mr. Georges in the wee morning hours. I remember fondly the tent classroom with the roll-up flaps, squeaky wood floor boards
and sometimes dense fog rolling through making it difficult to see the chalkboard."
Dave Dixon, Class of 1957
"Yupper, I too was in Johnnie's tent city and on his Wrestling Team. I am also proud to say that in 1998 I retired from
the Military and in 1999 I retired from General Motors. Thank you EUHS for giving me such a wonderful life."
John Steinhauser, Class of 1957
"The best teacher. I think he enjoyed the canvas tent we had in 1956-57. He made learning all that vocabulary fun. And
it has stayed with me. I went back during college years to thank him."
Rosalee Church, Class of 1957
"At the 45th reunion of the class of '57 there were many tributes to John Georges shared both in print and in conversations.
With Vogel, Surface, Ming and Kennedy, Mr. Georges provided many of us with an example of dedication, honor, sense of humor,
intellectual excellence and support for his students personally which has been a treasured resource since we sat before him
in 49a. Of all the memories of EUHS shared by the responders to the Class of '57 45th reunion class book, nearly all mentioned
at least one special teacher; and of all the special teachers mentioned, John Georges was named by what seemed to be at least
80%. What a guy! I miss him."
William G. (Bill) Blunt, Class of 1957
"This is a nice tribute to an unusual man and gifted teacher. Thanks, whoever is responsible. My claim to fame is that
Mr. Georges had great aim with a blackboard eraser and threw it at the back of my head when I was turned around flirting with
the guy behind me. Everyone laughed including me and it sure did get my attention. And no, I did not file battery and aggravation
charges - I knew I was supposed to be listening!"
Betty (Coleman) Sahota, Class of 1957
"I was so delighted to find out about this website. When I first went on it, I read it with tears streaming down my face!
Mr. Georges was a truly inspiring teacher and so beloved by all his students. I'm very envious of those who still have their
word lists. I had mine for years until they were lost during a move. Maybe a list could be added to this site. Our class was
fortunate to have him for two years as, at that time he was teaching both junior and senior English. Both our years with him
were spent at the new campus in tents, so we never knew Room 49A. And as he said, "Our suffering was in-tents". When the weather
was hot, the tents were hot and when the weather was cold, we were cold! I don't know if many people know this, but at least
one Christmas season Mr. Georges delivered mail ( hey, teachers have never been paid well). I think it was in 1955 during
Christmas break that I heard the mailman walking up on our porch and went to the door to get the mail. Imagine my surprise
to find myself face to face with Mr. Georges! I want to thank whoever came up with the idea of starting this site. It brings
back some beautiful memories."
Gwen Porch Pearce, Class of 1957
(Thanks, Gwen- some teachers at EHS did indeed work for the Postal Service during the Christmas season. Coach Chick
Embrey also carried the mail along with Mr. Georges.)
"I was delighted to see this web site. Mr. Georges was the greatest teacher in high school, a tribute to his commitment
to excellence. I have for 30 years been so grateful to this man who never gave me more than a "C" for a grade. He did inspire
me to read, giving me cause at one time in my senior year to read 30 books in 30 days, as well as to understand the logic
of diagramming sentences to the point of actually enjoying them like a crosword puzzle. But most of all he inspired me to
strive to be excellent in all that I do. Thanks, Mr Georges."
Bob Abbott, Class of 1973
"Great to have a vehicle to praise John Georges. He is the greatest and my mentor. His guidance made me a better person
and I will never forget his kindness and humor. He was a strong taskmaster. We all learned to be humble and to be respectful
of others. Its good to know that he is in heaven watching over us. Johnny Georges will be in my memory forever."
Glenn G. Odam, Class of 1953
"Mr. Georges is the reason I was an English major in college and a writer as well. Mr. Georges and his family lived next
door when I was growing up, and I learned to love the English language and writing from him. I was blessed to be in his class
at Escondido High, and through his encouragement believed that I could accomplish whatever my dreams told me I could. Throughout
the years I babysat Mr. and Mrs. Georges' three children and continued to pursue my dreams. Thank you Mr. Georges for all
you gave those of us in Escondido who were so blessed to know you!"
Welda Johnson Clemens, Class of 1962
"Mr. Georges was also my favorite teacher. I find that I truly love grammar even after all the years that have passed.
I think of him as so fair and straightforward, a man with uncompromising standards. He has made such a difference in my life."
Rachel Bastien, Class of 1973
"Mr. Georges was the most important and influential teacher I ever had during my school years. My senior English class
with him as my teacher left a lasting impression of what it takes to be a great teacher. His influence made me a life long
reader of great books and I appreciate the passion with which he taught both grammar and literature more and more throughout
the years. Those of us who had him as a teacher were fortunate indeed. I was thrilled to see that the website was honoring
him for the great man he was to many of us. What a wonderful tribute!"
Linda Olson Steege, Class of 1963
"I was so privileged to have Mr. Georges for my Senior English teacher. He taught me SO much about grammar and writing.
Even though his class was the hardest class I had in high school, I have never forgotten Mr. Georges because of all he did
for me educationally. I am an English teacher today, and I know he would be proud!"
Tanya Ross, Class of 1972
"Mr. John Georges and Bud Quade were two of the greatest educators in the long history of Escondido High School. It was
a honor to have had these two fine men at EUHS."
McKenzie "Ken" Cook, Class of 1955
"Mr. Georges taught me that for anything to be worthwhile, be it
MADD or anything else, you have to give 100 percent."
National President, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, 1986
"He was an English teacher extraordinaire."
Principal, Escondido High School, 1985
"John Georges is an academic magician. He makes the burden of learning English grammar
enjoyable, but not easy. He takes what could be drudgery, and, with a wand of chalk, turns it into student mastery."
Ted Witt, Times-Advocate, 1981