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Mr. Thiel’s Memorial

Samara Ayoob-Ahamd, Page Editor

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On June 3rd, 2018, one day after Amador seniors graduated, science teacher Eric Thiel passed away. It was one day after his retirement. He was 65.

Within the next week, someone broke into campus and painted a memorial to Thiel next to his room. To the dismay of many students and teachers, the memorial was painted over the week before school started.

“Certain steps have to be taken when it comes to painting murals on campus. So because whoever did the tribute to Mr. Thiel did not go through the process to become approved, it was painted over by the facilities department of the district,” stated principal, Mr. Williams.

Thiel was a role model and mentor for many students and teachers, which is why so many were disappointed when the memorial was taken down.

Mr. Thiel, the previous AP Biology teacher here at Amador, has been a strong leader for many years. With this, many students wish to memorialize him in some way, and one expressed this through art.

At the end of summer, staff, administrators, and students took notice to a memorial painted outside Mr. Thiel’s old classroom wall.

The painting was of a Hawaiian flower and a quote that stated, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood, now is the time to understand more, so we may fear less. In loving memory of Eric Thiel.”

Now that school has started, the memorial has been painted over which has caused different reactions from students.

“It’s not appropriate, and I think it is very disrespectful and rude. He’s been teaching here for many years, and he’s such a good teacher to everyone, so he deserves to have that,” said Kavya Subramaniam (‘19).

Amador Valley widely encourages student to show their artistic side. Over the years, many have painted murals on campus walls, painted portraits, hung up photography, displayed sculptures, and more in order to exhibit their works.

All these forms of art, however have been approved to be displayed or painted for students to see.

“Since I was a student of Thiel’s, and especially because I was so close to him and considered him one of my most influential teachers, I strongly dislike the fact that this memorial was taken down. I understand that there are rules that the district has to follow, and I’m sure they had their reasons for not allowing it, but I don’t understand the harm it would have done,” said Rohit Menon (‘18).

Though, the quote has been taken down, the school is still trying to find a way to continue to remember Mr. Thiel.

To continue commemorating the loved teacher, the Journalism class has added a heart with Mr. Thiel’s initials (E.T.) during the closing song, “Beautiful Day.” It was his favorite part of the program.

Additionally, ASB Leadership has created Thiel Tuesday for Aloha spirit week, where students and staff are to wear Hawaiian shirts to remember him.

Mr. Thiel may no longer be teaching at Amador, but he is still able to touch the school and community. He is a man that will forever be remembered and missed.

“In loving memory of Eric Thiel”

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Mr. Thiel’s Memorial