Wayne Potts

Wayne Potts

“Buenos dias, señores y señoritas. Como esta usted está mañana?” Spanning four decades, hundreds of SHS students heard those and other Spanish greetings from Wayne Potts. From 1951-81, Mr. Potts taught Spanish, French and English at SHS. He was born in 1922 and graduated from Marshall High School in Moundsville, West Virginia.

During World War II, he served as a Navy officer in the South Pacific. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and did post graduate work at West Liberty State College, Bethany College, Middlebury College, Harvard University and Ohio State University.

While at SHS, he introduced the use of individual study carrels equipped with receivers and microphones which enabled him to communicate individually with students. His students feeling for Mr. Potts? In the spring of 1963, three of them learned his birthday from SHS Principal J.E. McCullough and sprung a surprise “Viva El Señor Potts!” birthday party for him in his classroom. Mr. Potts reaction? He deemed it “cool.”

Observes an alum, “Mr. Potts was a paragon of patience and equanimity. He smiled frequently, laughed often and made learning a joy. You sensed he was both teacher & friend.” He passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 1996.

Nominator: Jeanette Bly Allard ’50.

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