Hobart Rowland Names His Favorite Teacher

Whether you loved school, hated it or, like me, simply tolerated it, chances are you had a favorite teacher. Mine was David Baldwin, who taught sixth grade with artful finesse and tolerance at Episcopal Academy’s now-defunct Devon campus. From our metal-sided classroom that passed for an expansion at the budding satellite institution, Mr. Baldwin presided over our tiny class—the first to graduate from Devon and the first at EA with girls. In those early years, Mr. Baldwin was one of the few teachers who could tear me away from my daydreaming and get me to focus. In the process, he taught me how to write. While most of my public school pals were still, by and large, filling in the blanks, I was churning out lengthy essays.

Specializing in English and creative writing, Mr. Baldwin remained at EA for 33 years, retiring in 1985. He passed away in 1997, and, fittingly, there is now a writing contest at EA under his name. In many ways, I have him to thank for where I am now.

In the public sector, times are tough for Pennsylvania’s schools, which must weather massive state cuts in K-12 funding. Given the distressing turn of events and the hard road ahead, this seemed like the perfect time to throw some props in the direction of our local teachers. “Head of the Class,” the first in a series, focuses on public high schools, where college and the real world looms large and so much is expected of our classroom leaders. Our methodology was simple: We asked local principals and other administrators to offer up their best and brightest. Most enthusiastically obliged. Among the more conspicuous holdouts was Conestoga High School. As with the others, we tried numerous times to contact its top administrators and were met with no response.

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To that end, we encourage students, alumni and parents to weigh in on their favorite teachers at mainlinetoday.com in the comments section of this feature. Who knows? It may lead to another story.

LOOKIN’ GOOD: It’s been five years since we last made any design changes to MLT, so we felt a few were in order—nothing too major, just a freshening up. As you dive into our October print issue, you’ll notice cover pages for each section, which allow us to play up our excellent photography. We’ve devoted a full page to shopping and fashion, and we’ve chosen more vibrant colors and graphic elements while also updating our type styles.

Creative director Ingrid Hansen-Lynch worked long and hard on this project, and she hopes you like the makeover. As do the rest of us.

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Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!