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Ginapp's teaching praised at college commencement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Longtime Holyoke English teacher Clark Ginapp made the distant journey to Massachusetts May 20-23 to accept an award from Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., recognizing him for his teaching efforts.

Nominated by former HHS student and 2011 Amherst College graduate Jes-c Brandt, Ginapp was one of three recipients of the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Award at commencement exercises Sunday, May 22.

Each year at commencement, Amherst College presents the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Awards to three outstanding secondary school teachers who challenged, inspired and moved members of the graduating class.

The awards are named for the first president of the college and his wife. This was the 15th year Amherst has presented the awards.

Jes-c Brandt is pictured at left with Clark Ginapp following commencement
at Amherst College Sunday, May 22.

Brandt, a 2007 HHS graduate nominated Ginapp for the award and said, “He was a great teacher to everyone who entered the classroom.”

Brandt credits Ginapp with teaching her to pay close attention to details in her writing, and a journal-writing assignment in his class led her to discover that writing can be an enjoyable and relaxing creative outlet. She has interned at the Holyoke Enterprise for the past three summers and continues to submit regular columns.

“He teaches kids how to learn, how to appreciate knowledge and how to function in life,” Brandt noted in her nomination letter.

She said it was neat to have two of her high school teachers at her commencement ceremony. Lynette Hudiburgh also attended the commencement with Ginapp. Brandt said both Hudiburgh and Ginapp were pretty influential teachers to her throughout high school as she was in many of their classes.

Ginapp said it was an honor to be there to receive the award. As part of his recognition, Ginapp received a cash honorarium, a cane and plaque.

Each new graduate also received a senior class cane. The canes are a 19th-century Amherst tradition that was revived and reshaped by the Class of 2003 to celebrate class unity and spirit. The class canes are now given on behalf of the Society of Alumni to the graduating seniors to mark their commencement from Amherst and to serve as a tangible connection to their class.

Other special guests and honorary degree recipients also received canes during the May 22 commencement.

Ginapp was worried he wouldn’t be able to take the cane back on the plane but it turned out canes are allowed on airline flights. After getting off the plane in Denver, he realized he had forgotten the cane at his seat on the plane. Hudiburgh fought through the passengers leaving the flight and made her way back to retrieve the cane.

While in Massachusetts, Ginapp and Hudiburgh managed to do some sightseeing. They toured the Emily Dickinson Museum and also drove around Western Massachusetts where they saw Mount Holyoke and Holyoke College.

Hudiburgh said they were treated very well over their two days in the area.

Ginapp taught English for 31 years before spending the last two as the director of Holyoke’s Alternative High School. He will be moving this summer with Hudiburgh who has taken a position as a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Brandt graduated with a degree in psychology and is the daughter of Dr. Jerry and Debbie Brandt of Holyoke.

Holyoke Enterprise June 9, 2011