The winner of the mentor contest is…

Special thanks to everyone who contributed a story about their mentors. I enjoyed reading every one of them. The winning submission is by Todd Gardner, and he writes:

“Sunny Days and Willie Mays!”, exclaimed John Haynes, my art teacher and head baseball coach at Shortridge High School here in Indy. Whether in the classroom or on the ball diamond, he led by example always offering timely words of encouragement.

Besides instructing us in various art techniques using a myriad of materials, he hand painted eye catching signs for various Shortridge events, often including clever illustrations and typography. This was of course before digital clip art or fancy color printers.

Mr. Haynes was a great former college baseball player who decided on a career with IPS teaching high school art. He supplemented his teaching income in the summers by painting intricate realist watercolors which he shared with us in class.

Thanks to him, I realized being a creative person and an athlete were not mutually exclusive. For all your knowledge, advice and inspiration, here’s to you Mr. Haynes! I can’t ever thank you enough.

Special honorable mention goes to Aleta Hodge for her wonderful story, too.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Jazz Kitchen on Wednesday night for the next Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam as Sophie and I share stories about our mentors. More information is available here.

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield