Teacher compares working at high school he attended as a student, finds similarities

Sally Cochran, Editor in Chief

Eleven years ago, math teacher Adam Wade walked the halls of Blue Valley — not as a teacher, but as a senior. He graduated in 2001.
“Quite honestly, I think [BV] is a better school now than when I was a student,” Wade said. “I think there is a greater culture of respect amongst individual students. I think students are nicer to each other and better to each other. I think the staff gets along really well and works well together. I think the school’s always had a strong sense of community.”
Math teacher Robin Lerner taught Wade Geometry when he was in eighth grade.
“I always thought he was so bright,” she said. “He was just so organized and detailed that way that I thought, ‘Man, this kid’s going to do something with math.’ And to find him coming back as a teacher, I’m like, ‘That’s cool.’ That he was going to teach calculus, that was my expectation, like, ‘Of course he’s going to teach all the upper-level classes because that’s the kind of math he really likes, and that’s what he gravitates to.’”
Wade participated in debate freshman through senior year.
“I debated for four years — not really seriously,” he said. “I did, like, one or two tournaments a year. I didn’t like the research, so that was just a little thing I did on the side.”
He also participated in other extracurriculars as a student, such as the Categories team, Science Knowledge Bowl and math competitions.
Wade said BV still continues the same traditions the school had when he was a student.
“In terms of smaller traditions, you know, Friday night football games were huge then — they’re still huge now,” Wade said. “Things as little as the class cheer or the principal’s cheer, I believe that was even the same back then. There’s been a lot of little stuff that is probably still the same that frankly I haven’t even recognized.”
Wade was taught by four teachers still at BV: debate and forensics teacher Chris Riffer, science teacher Larry Hare and math teachers Sherry Spotts and Lerner.
“When I graduated in 2001, that was the year right before [BV] West opened,” Wade said. “That was also before [BV] Southwest opened obviously, so the staff has changed over twice. That’s probably why there aren’t more than just four teachers that I had previously. There are some teachers that have retired recently, like Mrs. [Kristin] Asquith I had for Honors [Communication Arts] II sophomore year, Mr. [Mel] Baskett, who retired last year was the [Psychology] teacher. It seems like it’s dwindling every year.”
During his first three years working at BV, Wade was an assistant coach for debate.
“Frankly, I was never a great debater myself, so I felt kind of bad because I would have to judge rounds that — I don’t want to say they were over my head — but the debaters were much better than I ever could have been,” he said. “I was able to follow and such, but that activity wasn’t as designed for me because I didn’t do as much with it.”
Wade currently sponsors math contests for students.
“It’s funny because I’ll take kids to math contests that I had participated in,” he said.
Wade has coached other activities at BV.
“The trivia activities, the Categories and the Scholar’s Bowl, I love,” Wade said. “I mean, that’s kind of where my wheelhouse is, so to speak. I really enjoy seeing what students know and seeing what students don’t know. To me, the coolest thing in those trivia competitions is that I’ll get ready to ask a question, and I’ll start to read it in practice, and I’ll be like, ‘There’s no way anyone knows this,’ and then, someone will know it. Or there will be a question that will be like “Psh, this is so easy,’ but because it will be from, like, the ‘90s or something, no one will have a clue.”
Lerner said Wade has many traits that benefit him as a teacher.
“He’s very particular and very precise — meticulous, I think, is a better word for him,” she said. “[He’s] very attentive to detail to where he’s got things planned out weeks and weeks in advance, and he knows what’s going to happen all the time. He knows where everything is on his desk. Knows where to find everything that he needs. In that respect, very organized, very meticulous about his work, very specific about where things are and how things work and how things run. Stickler to following the rules. If it’s supposed to get done, he gets it done.”