Lakewood Ranch High School journalism teacher retires

He had a reputation for having a tough skin and soft heart

Special to the HeraldApril 15, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Since Lakewood Ranch High School opened in 1998, the journalism program has been led by an unforgettable man.

Frank Anderson encouraged students in a 43-year career to show creativity, unique ideas and style, and to give 100 percent to everything they do.

Anderson, who retired this year, is a humble, talented teacher who rarely took credit for all he does. Anderson shares a bond with students that is hard to find. He not only taught journalism and the methods of being an effective writer, but he left his students with a deep impression on their futures through his everlasting guidance.

He devoted his life's work to teaching every level of journalism as well as a variety of English classes.

"He was good at what he did and he gave it everything he had," said co-teacher Tom Honsa. "He brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to everything he did."

Each day he managed to bring a smile to student faces. He liked to make jokes and scare the class with his ear-piercing whistle.

"I just recently got to know Mr. Anderson this year, but from the small time I spent with him, I caught onto his unique teaching tactics that made him stand out, like his sense of humor that always made me laugh," said senior David Gomez.

Although retired, Anderson's devotion and love for the program is still evident. He takes the time to visit his classes two days a week and each time he lights up the room.

"When you make kids smile when they learn something, that's cool and I will always miss that," Anderson said.

He did not teach for himself; he taught for the children he influenced along the way. On the day he was

to retire, he notified his students at the ringing of the bell that it was his last day. Although many were confused and heartbroken, we knew he was ready.

"I didn't want my kids to count down the days until I left," Anderson said. "That is horrible and it's better to just simply disappear."

That is Anderson's personality. He never wanted to be the center of attention or be seen as taking undue credit.

"It's like jumping into cold water, just jump in and get it done," he said.

As a journalism teacher he had a tough skin. His advice could be biting, but he showed a heart filled with love and care for others.

"I will always be a teacher," Anderson said, "No matter what."

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