The School Newspaper of John Carroll School

George Appleby challenges students to do their best

March 1, 2015


Mike Moxley

Calculus teacher George Appleby poses with one of his cherished Mr. Potatoheads at his board. Appleby has been a devoted math teacher at John Carroll for 43 years.

Waking up early in the morning and driving his Lincoln town car, George Appleby makes a routine stop at Bel Air Bakery, where they already have his coffee ready for him. He picks his treat and heads to JC to teach his favorite subject, math.

Appleby’s math career began at Albany State Teacher’s College. He graduated earning a degree in math/science. He later went on to get his a masters degree in math.

He recalled taking a “Strong Vocation Interest Test” during his time at Albany.

“My number one vocation was farming, but math and physical science was a close second. Math was always either x equaled 7 or it didn’t, and that is what I love about it,” Appleby said.

Appleby did more than just go to school during college. During his freshman year he joined the Naval Reserve and was accepted into the Reserve Officer Candidate (ROC) program not long after. He attended training and participated in drills once a week and during summers. He served three years and went on to be an instructor at the Naval Academy Prep School (NAPS), located near Port Deposit in Cecil County, MD. There he was drawn to math and discovered his passion for teaching it to others.

“While I was teaching at NAPS, the Academic Director was leaving. He came to JC looking for a job, and he spoke to the VP at the time, Jim Long. He called me on the phone and said that JC was the school for me. I took his advice, and 43 years later I’m still here,” Appleby said.

During his teaching career at JC, Appleby has taught thousands of kids. He has taught every level of math and all year levels. For the past few years he has been teaching AP Calculus (AB), Honors Pre-Calculus, and Algebra 3/Trigonometry.

“I have taught some very bright students, and I have learned that having time one-on-one with students really helps even the smartest kids. It is also rewarding to me to see their growth and get to know them a little better too,” Appleby said.

Along with teaching all levels of students, Appleby has had to adapt to changes. The use of the graphing calculator is a big part of math classes today and was a major obstacle for him to learn and adapt to.

“Calculators have revolutionized math, but all math can be done with paper and pencil and some needs to be done without a calculator. Math is important in today’s society, and knowing how to do it and not rely on a calculator is key,” Appleby said.

He definitely has a collection of calculators of all shapes and sizes, but he has collected something else over the past few years.

Appleby has a collection of potato heads given to him by students over the years.

“The number is approaching 70, and I consider each one a treasure,” Appleby said.

Appleby strives to be a “good teacher and role model” to his students, not only those at JC but other schools before JC.

“I hope to be remembered by my students as a good teacher who challenged them to do their best,” he said.

He shares a quote with parents on mini-mod night to show his intentions as a teacher from a university in New York.

“Everyone who remembers his/her own educational experience remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the kingpin of the educational situation. He makes and breaks programs.”

Mike Moxley is a Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and

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