Dear Mrs. Deerr, – By Barb Lane Boyle

Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Dear Mrs. Deerr,

When I moved from the big city of St. Louis to the small city of Lafayette, Indiana, little did I know of the joy and adventures that awaited me because of knowing you. As my sixth grade teacher, you challenged me to strive for excellence in my work, believed in my academic abilities, and provided athletic opportunities for myself and other junior high girls.

In the fall of sixth grade, you started an after-school basketball program for girls. Because I was the tallest girl in the class, you encouraged me to try out this new sport. This introduction to basketball gave me skills, coordination, and confidence and led me to continue playing basketball throughout my school years and to even play intramurals in college.

When I lived in St. Louis, I had started playing softball in third grade. By the time I was in your class, I had already played three summers of softball. So, when you started a girls softball program at the end of sixth grade, my older sister and I were excited to be a part of a team. Being a part of that softball team for six years improved my skills for the future. When my family moved back to St. Louis for my senior year in high school, I tried out for the softball team. As an unknown player and senior, I doubted I would be chosen, but I ended up making the varsity team. In college, I played intramurals and after college, I played on a women’s church league team that went to rank in the top ten at a national tournament.

Several years after college, I met my husband playing on a co-ed church single’s softball team. We continued to play on the team until our first child was born. As our children got older, I was a coach for my two girls’ basketball, volleyball, soccer and softball teams and even coached my son’s baseball team one year.

Because of your influence upon me as my teacher, I majored in Elementary Education. I ended up teaching junior high school for several years in a rural district and was an assistant basketball and volleyball coach and the head softball coach. I remember you with much fondness and am forever grateful for your encouragement not only in the classroom but also on the court and field and am thankful for your influence in my life.

With much love,



When I was a little girl, this is what I said to the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A TEACHER!! I always said. I set out on my quest as I was the teacher of the neighborhood “school” in our basement, of my little brother born nine years after me, a teacher’s aide while in high school, a day camp director, camp counselor, middle school teacher and coach, preschool teacher at PEEPS, Sunday school teacher, and a college campus ministry staff person.

 I continue to love teaching as I have homeschooled our three children: Bethany (26), Brendan (24), and Bridget (19). I have been married to (Charles) Bryon Boyle for nearly 30 years.. Bryon and I met on the Central singles’ softball team. It has been quite the adventure as we set out raising our children with lots of camping, canoeing, swimming, books, movies, ice cream, and pizza.
 -Barb (Lane) Boyle

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2 thoughts on “Dear Mrs. Deerr, – By Barb Lane Boyle

  1. Rosemary Oliver April 13, 2020 / 7:15 pm

    Barb, you were wonderfully fortunate to have Mrs. Deerr as a teacher. So glad she inspired you to become a teacher.
    Thanks to you and Bryon for so many years of teaching and leading our Central youth. God bless you, Rosemary Oliver

    Liked by 1 person

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