Secrets of BVN Teachers


Ms. Younger



According to Ms. Younger, students are often surprised to find out that she has tattoos and listens to metal music. Out of her 12 tattoos, one of her favorites is of Ganesh, a Hindu goddess that represents open communication. According to Ms. Younger, the tattoo means “not letting little things hold you down and oppress you,” which explains how she tries to live her life.


She also has many different tastes in music, which according to her, come in phases; one minute she is listening to classic rock and the next dubstep-like songs by artists such as Carnage.


In high school, Younger sported a variety of hairstyles, including a mohawk and shaving cheetah spots into her hair.


“[In high school] I was smart, but I didn’t care outwardly how I came off,” Younger said.


Because of her adolescent experiences, Ms. Younger can easily identify with the students she sees at North who don’t necessarily blend in with the crowd.


“Being who you are and not fitting into a bubble is really important,” she said.


Mr. Smajda


Social studies teacher Jason Smajda may seem ordinary at first, but students are often unaware of the kind of person he was at Kansas State University. One look at his college identification card and students can not believe their eyes. Although Smajda may be lacking hair now, in college, he was the exact opposite, as his locks were about medium length in a sort of misshapen mullet.


“I was a little bit of a metal head, a hard-rocker metal head,” Smajda said.


In contrast with his hair, however, Smajda was in a fraternity during college. In fact, he was the proud president of the Phi Kappa Tau K-State chapter. His position included leading meetings, growing the fraternity and meeting with alumni.


“You cannot be in a leadership position and please people,” Smajda said he learned from his position.


Another one of Smajda’s secrets is his tattoo. At 19, he realized that within the next few years, he would change quite a bit, so he decided to acquire a permanent symbol of his youth. The tattoo is a triangle with an eye in it that he classifies as a type of “spiritual thing.”



Mrs. Whitfield



Whitfield, being a AP language teacher, waits until the end of the year (or allows students to figure it out themselves) to reveal how “horribly difficult the AP exam is.” She does not want them to feel that the class is “not worth all the agony” because there are students that don’t take the test and she wants them to “find things that are beneficial from having taken the class.”


Whitfield was once a hospital escapist. As a sophomore at the University of Kansas, Whitfield woke up one morning with scarlatina, a highly contagious bacterial rash. Once in the hospital, she was put in the isolation ward for a week until she healed.


“I was in there all by myself, no one talking to me. They were sliding my food through a little opening. In those days there wasn’t even a phone,” Whitfield said.


The day her rash was completely gone, she was told to wait all day for the doctor to make his rounds before he could send her home. That night, she managed to sneak into the nurse’s station and call her best friend, telling her to pick her up on her motor scooter so she could make an escape.


“I grabbed my stuff and just ran down the fire escape, and of course all the alarms are going off,” Whitfield said.


Whitfield jumped on her friend’s motorscooter, believing that the hospital staff was chasing behind her, although this was not the case.



Mr. Rose

Earth Space Science teacher Randall Rose believes that students are most shocked to find out that he did not graduate high school. As a sophomore at Lawrence High School, Rose believed he was a “bad student,” so he decided to drop out of school entirely. The next year, Rose attempted high school again, but this brought rise to another issue; he only had one credit, certainly not enough to graduate by senior year.


“During graduation, I got to sit in the stands and watch my class walk across the stage,” Rose said.


While Mr. Rose does not have a traditional high school diploma, he did return to his studies to attain a GED, which is equivalent to a high school diploma.


While students are typically aware that Rose has an interest in geology based on the classes he teaches, they may not realize just how passionate he is on the subject. In his free time, Mr. Rose often explores Kansas to find fossils. His findings over the years include a mammoth tooth from the last ice age and a variety of dinosaur remnants. While people often complain that Kansas has nothing to do, Rose claims that it “is one of the best places for fossil hunting.”


Mr. Rose has also been with BVN from the start .Rose has taught in this building since 1986 when it first opened, being only one of the four teachers who have worked here for that duration, including Mr. Brown, Mr. Koehler, and Ms. Hansen.


“This is year thirty for this school and for me, and thirty years I’ve taught in this room,” he remarked.