High school is a time saturated with across-the-board emotions — the high points and the low points are all concentrated and amplified within the narrow hallways of adolescence. Within the everyday antics of social interactions and college applications we often overlook the unspoken heroes of Wilton High School — the teachers. One teacher, whom I have had the pleasure of having as my WHS advisor, encapsulates the true meaning behind the word “educator.” Known by our 13-student advisory as “Uncle Chip,” Frank Gawle is a veteran WHS teacher as well as a former administrator. He has dedicated his life to the WHS family, and comes in to work each day ready to instill in students an appreciation for art and music, and an understanding of what it means to be a good person, and all while cultivating a love for learning. Those are the marks of a true educator.
Our group of advisees looks forward each week to our 30-minute block with Uncle Chip. To us, it is time to decompress, a time to air any complaints about school or stress, and a time to feel truly listened to and heard. Mr. Gawle ends each advisory by wishing us well on the rest of our week and signing off with his catch phrase, “All right, guys, peace and love!” Between stress-filled days of testing, busywork, extracurriculars, and social drama, one class of advisory can turn the whole day around.