Poppa Linscott -- lifelong teacher and learner - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Poppa Linscott -- lifelong teacher and learner

Posted on January 24, 2010

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 24, 2010

He was a gift to the community and to our children.

I attended the memorial service this past Saturday for Reverend Burton Linscott, former minister of the Church of the Epiphany and principal of Epiphany School for 28 years.  In his retirement, "Poppa," as he was lovingly called by all who knew him, tutored children for many years until just last year. Poppa died last Wednesday in his Kaimuki home at the age of 96. He visited the former Epiphany faculty and students two years ago and had lunch in the dining room. I will never forget our children encircling him, singing one of their favorite chapel hymns. The look on his face was pure joy. He was deeply satisfied that his Epiphany School became an integral part of Mid-Pacific. Many of us, including families and faculty who were affiliated with Epiphany, will remember his stern yet compassionate demeanor.  He loved the children -- all children -- and dedicated his entire life to the education of young children. He was a rector, husband, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, and academic. We will always remember him as a lifelong teacher and learner.

Our recent school assembly was truly a celebration of learning! Jill Johnson and several of the first and second graders explained their current exploration of sculpture using "beautiful junk" -- anything with potential for recycling into art. These students have learned about the ongoing problem in the Pacific Ocean with trash and debris from multiple sources that constantly pose a real threat to marine life. They're hoping that their one-of-a-kind sculptures using junk raises our awareness about the ongoing challenge of trash in our once pristine waters. Another group of students explained what they've been learning through trial-and-error as they build clay sculptures. This problem-solving approach encourages students to learn from their mistakes and think more carefully about how they're building their clay sculptures.

The 4-and 5-year-olds and the high school animators from Kevin Tokuda's class each shared their animations of the children's wind theories. These eighteen animations help to concretize the preschoolers' ideas about how their winds move. Each wind has its own name -- the windy-wind, the snow wind, the monster wind, the rose wind, the Japanese wind, to name a few. We were delighted to learn not only of each child's wind, but also the collaboration between preschool and high school students. A footnote: one of the parents in this class is also a professor at the University of Hawaii whose area of specialization is oceanography and wind movement. She collected the children's wind theories and discovered that their stories actually have scientific basis! The preschoolers' wind inquiry continues to expand -- they just returned last week from Nu`uanu Pali looking for the monster wind. Yes! It was there!

The assembly ended with a big bang, and I mean this literally.  Fifth grader Kelcie Yamashita, a student of Kenny Endo, the taiko master, impressed us with her taiko drumming. Kelcie was assisted by her father who tapped the counter rhythms on one of the drums. Kelcie gave a flawless performance, playing confidently and expressively.  I think she might have inspired other children to take up drumming, which definitely helps to develop gross motor skills, focus, discipline, and musical and mathematical ability. Just invest in earplugs!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey