Warrior Memories: A tremendous individual and teacher: Doris Whalen

By Dick Trone November 06, 2009 07:17 am
I have never sat down to write an article that I have enjoyed more than this one. Doris Whalen is a person that every student would wish they had as a teacher.

When I was a junior at Del Norte High School in 1949 Doris’s husband, Mike Whalen, joined the Warrior staff as a teacher and coach. At the same time, Doris joined the teaching staff at Crescent Elk, where she taught second, fifth and sixth grade for four years.

In 1953 Doris moved to the high school. It amazes me that she was teaching here when I was in school and was still teaching here when I came back in 1980. She was still teaching at the high school in 1992 when I retired.

She went on for seven more years before retiring in 1999. During my 33 years as a teacher, coach and school administrator I never met a more dedicated, more respected teacher than Doris.

She always made her English classroom a very special place. 

In 1999 Doris was in her 50th year as a teacher, but if you entered her classroom the enthusiasm of a beginning teacher was still there. Every student that I have ever talked to that had her for a teacher felt they were a better person for having her.

She sincerely cared about every student as a person. When I talked to Doris this week, I found her love of kids is still there.

She volunteers her time as a teacher’s helper in Penny Morgan’s second grade class at Joe Hamilton. That’s a grandma those kids are going to remember. She also still serves on the high school scholarship committee.

As a testimony to the respect that the community had for Mike and Doris Whalen, two facilities on the campus are named in their honor.

Mike Whalen Field, where the Warriors play their football games, and Doris Whalen Dance Studio are both so named for the many years of caring service they gave to  the youth of Crescent City.

Mike and Doris have two girls, Lark and  Starr, and five grandchildren. Having had the opportunity to play football and baseball for Mike and to work 12 years with Doris, I have to that say 1949 was a great year for Del Norte High because we welcomed two super people to the Warrior family.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors, had an illustrious  career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.