Highland says goodbye to longtime teachers Sue Tice and Ruthie CampbellJun 22, 2017 04:20PM ● By Natalie Mollinet
Sue Tice with Rosie Nguyen, one of Tice’s students that has gone on to anchor at KEZI in Eugene, Ore. (Sue Tice/Former Highland Teacher).
By Natalie Mollinet | [email protected]
For many of us, we can recall a school teacher who positively impacted us, whether they did it with kind words or taught us the value of hard work. Highland High is losing two such teachers this year—Sue Tice and Ruthie Campbell—both who played important roles in students’ lives over the years.
Tice started her career at Glendale Middle school as an art teacher then continued her art teaching at Highland. She felt that she fit in more with high school-aged students and after four years of teaching art, she went onto become the television and broadcasting teacher since she received her master’s in television and communications.
“I was delighted to get that position,” Tice said. “For the next 15 years, I taught students to run the school-based news show, HTVS, where they got experience putting on a live newscast two or three times a week.”
For the past three years, she has been on a special assignment from the Salt Lake City School District as a peer assistance and review consulting teacher, where she worked with novice teachers in the district. Now after 27 years of teaching, Tice has put up the Expo white board markers and cleaned her desk of graded assignments.
“I made many friends during my years at Highland, and several of my former students have friended me on Facebook,” Tice said. “In fact, one of my former television students, after getting her bachelor’s and master’s, is now teaching HTVS along with filmmaking.”
Jenny Hardy is the student she is speaking about and Hardy said that Tice was a mentor to her and helped her in progressing into the field of film and TV.
“Tice was one of the most supportive teachers I ever had, I will miss being able to show her the cool new updated HTVS every year. She has the greatest sense of humor and I’m proud to call her my Jewish mom.”
Hardy isn’t the only student who loved having Tice as a teacher and mentor.
“Mama Tice helped me figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Nicole Stephenson, a Highland alumna, said. “I ended up getting a scholarship to go to college because of my work in HTVS. I also really enjoyed tricking Mrs. Tice into saying ‘orange juice’ with her New York accent. I never get tired of that.”
Riley Roos, another Highland alum added, “Sue Tice was hands down one of the greatest instructors I had the privilege of being taught by. I was blessed to be her student all four years at Highland, and we’ve stayed in contact even after graduation. There are countless memories I have from her class and plenty of lessons I still think of today.”
“Mama Tice was the sweetest lady,” Sara McClure another alumna said. “She let me take TV2 and be on HTVS even though I hadn’t taken TV1, but she believed in me, and I knew I could do it. The video production skills she taught me were invaluable, and I still use them today.”
There were many more fond memories shared about Tice and she reflected on her time as Highland as well. She was proud of her students and enjoyed seeing them win awards and furthering their lives whether it was in TV or not.
“I believe that all of our life experiences add to our growth as a person and Highland was part of my life for 19 years,” Tice said, “so it surely influenced my life.”
There’s one last piece of advice she wanted to leave for her students: “Young people in high school continue to search for their identity as well as acceptance all while doing their school work and extracurricular activities. Having good role models and those they can trust in to help them navigate this time in their lives is extremely important. They need to learn to follow their best instincts and not just follow the crowd.”
Ruthie Campbell or Ruthie as her students called her retired from Highland halfway through the 2016-2017 school year. She also impacted many students’ lives. Ruthie, according to her students, was attentive and seemed to know each student in a personal way.
“We agreed on nearly nothing politically but she respected me anyway when I practiced far too little,” Joshua Christensen, a Highland alum said. “I have looked forward to talking with those of with differing ideas than mine because of talks she and I had. I know how to respect them, expand my perspective and be good to others because of Ruthie Campbell.”
Campbell did have her fun side. One student recalled Campbell telling her students “no sneezing” anytime students would sneeze during her lectures.
“One day, on my way to school, it was dumping rain and I was getting totally soaked,” Ricky Carlson, another alum, recalled. “Ruthie passed by going the opposite direction and saw me walking over the bridge, and when she saw me she pulled over and told me to get in the car. She didn’t care if she was breaking any rules.”