Faculty & Administration
Updated 08/12/11

Chateauroux, France

"They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, and an entire lifetime to forget them. "  (Unknown)

This is not a complete listing of faculty from Chateauroux American High School.  The names below are teachers someone has inquired about, or teachers who have found this page on the net.

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@ Chad:  1965-66
Boerne, TX

7-24-09 Guestbook Entry:  Would like to hear from anyone. Ann Jennings / Any student or teacher.  Had a great teaching year.

friend of Vicki Wassenhove - see entry below

BEHRENS, Henry & June - 8th Grade & 2nd Grade Teachers
@ Chad:  1955-56

Mr. Lawrence Martin (Principal at Chad 1955-56) sent the following information about the Behrens:  "In the school year 1955-56, Henry Behrens was the 8th grade teacher and his wife, June, was the 2nd grade teacher.   [jpnote:  These Behrens are no relation to Linda & Bill.]  I was single at the time, but  became friends with them.  One night a week for many weeks we would meet in their 410 apartment and have a french lesson under the supervision of Guy Mitchell.  Guy was an older gentleman who taught in the high school but who spoke quite commendable french.  also, I went on some trips with them--to Spain, to Omaha Beach and some local trips.  They were both interesting people as well as very nice people.  Henry had been in a Japanese prison camp during the whole of WWII.  To find out what happened to Henry, I refer you to "The Greatest Generation Speaks" by Tom Brokaw.  June has a letter in that book.  You will find it on pp. 7-10.  After I read that letter, I called June.  She became an author of a number (at least 10, I think) of children's books."  [jpnote:  You can find June Behrens' books on the web - just type in her name and voila!]

BRINKER, Bill and Barb

Barb has passed away - See In Memoriam

10-17-07  Note from Chateauroux Air Station doctor, Dr. Jim Urban:  Barb and Bill Brinker were our friends in Chateauroux. He was a civilian teacher. We did keep in touch for many years, but the last address we had - in Novi, Michigan - became invalid. We haven't been in contact for the last 10 or 15 years.

6-13-08  JP emailed to someone who might be the Brinker's son.  Hope to receive a reply yea or nay.... and I did!  2-16-10  JP received email from Dan Brinker, Bill's son - JP reconnected via email, Bill Brinker and Dr. Jim Urban. 


@ Chas:  1957-59
Coral Gables, Florida
03-02-02 Comments:So surprising and gratifying to find that so many still remember times at Chateauroux. I taught 1957-59 Chad High and Junior High.

6-07  I have recently retired after many years at the University of Southern California and in the University of Florida system. My wife, Renee and I, enjoy our time here in Coral Gables, Florida, but for some reason I am as busy as ever even after retirement.



CHAFFEE, Bob    
@ Chas: Faculty 1958-59
Essex Jct., VT








Bob Chaffee, math 1958-59;  Mr. & Mrs. Dean Malmo, social studies and dramatics 1959; Gerald Knoepfel and wife, Selma Esneault Knoepfel - (Mr. Knoepfel, music & jr. high social studies 1959, Mrs. Knoepfel, biology & jr. high social studies 1959).  This photo was taken at the Weisbaden reunion in Las Vegas by Tony Lamb - Chad Class of '60.  (These teachers were faculty members at Weisbaden also.) 

2-15-10  I still remember fondly my one year of teaching at Chateauroux. I want to offer my sincere thanks to Jenelle for all that she has done over the years to keep students and faculty together through this wonderful website...and now Facebook.

DUNN, CWO (Reired) Clifton "Cliff" 
@ Chas:  1951-53 & 1955-56
7300th Materiel Control Group (Mutual Defense Assistance Program)

I have started tying things together about my tour with the school and came up with the following: Major Vance L. Beebout, USAF School Officer was my military boss. Mr. James Umholtz, Superintendent of the Chateauroux Schools was my School boss. Principal Cliff Gunderson was the High School Principal ( I do remember him - he was always helpful to me and ran interfence for me with Mr. Umholtz when I had problems with Umholtz.)   I do not know who the Middle and Elementary School principals were.  Our oldest son (Patrick) was in the first grade during my tour with the school.  He is now a retired Army LTC (Aviation) living in Ripon, CA.  Our second son (Robert) died in Monterey, CA in 1994.  Our third son is a retired Army LTC (Armor) and lives in Sparta, WI.  Our fourth son (Clifton Jr.) left the Army as a Major (Aviation) in 1993. Robert and Clifton Jr were both born in the USAF Hospital in Chateauroux.  Cliff

Also listed on Chateauroux Air Station - 7300th Materiel Control Group (MDAP)

ESNEAULT, Selma Knoepfel - Biology  Chad Marriages 

Waupaca, WI

Bob Chaffee, math 1958-59;  Mr. & Mrs. Dean Malmo, social studies and dramatics 1959; Gerald Knoepfel and wife, Selma Esneault Knoepfel - (Mr. Knoepfel, music & jr. high social studies 1959, Mrs. Knoepfel, biology & jr. high social studies 1959).  This photo was taken at the Weisbaden reunion in Las Vegas by Tony Lamb - Chad Class of '60.  (These teachers were faculty members at Weisbaden also.) 

FELDMAN, Irving - Music - No email available

My name is Cathy Feldman, and I was born on January 8, 1960, at the United States Air Force Hospital.  The hospital is listed in Chateauroux, although my Department of State Birth Certificate states that it was Deols, Indre, France.  My Father is Irving Feldman, who was a music teacher at the time.  My mother is Trudy Feldman.  My dad and I recently made a pilgrimage to Chateauroux and I have many pictures that I can share with you.  We were also allowed on the base and given a tour!!  I also have photos that he took at the time I was born, late 50’s and early 60’s.  I’ve attached 2 photos that were taken on the base in 2005, and  a few of the town.  This is such a cool website and it’s so interesting meeting others who have a similar birth situation as I!!  I hope to hear from you soon.

Photos from 2005 Trip to Chateauroux: 

GARNIER, Nicole -
Office Secretary from 1956 to 1962

Nicole & her husband, Christian at Schonnbrunn Castle in Vienna - June 2008

June 2009 - JP received a real letter from Nicole - following are some excerpts from that letter:

"I cannot forget all these nice years among students and teachers because you were all wonderful.  ..... I realize how lucky I am to find people with whom I worked 45 years ago!  Is it possible?.....U keft tge scgiik ub 1862 abd tgeb was enokted bt BATI *Bldg 351) where I stayed for 10 monhs because I got married in September 63 and then was employed in Paris.  We had a son, Nicolas, in September 64 [he passed away in 1991] and we left Paris in 1971.  ....I had a girl "Caroline" in May 1971 ....a very sweet girl..."

There was much more to her letter which was very interesting to me.

Searching for:  Gerald Meyers - Faculty Member 

GAMBLE, Mary (Kump)  See Chas Memoriam
GLAYSHER, Gordon - Band - 1966  See Chas Memoriam

Visit Gordon Glaysher's daughter's website:  http://www.robinglaysher.com  She is an upcoming young talent in her father's musical footsteps.

11-4-08  [jpnote:  I received this email from Chateauroux musician, Larry Tomko]  The world is truly a small place.  I was surfing the internet today and found a reference to my old music teacher from high school, Gordon Glaysher.  Seems he was the music teacher in Chateauroux back in early 60s.  Well it's pretty amazing, but he was my music teacher in SPAIN in 67, 68.  back then I didn't even know Châteauroux existed.  Today I am a working musician living in.......Chateauroux!!  Sorry to hear about his passing.
If you have contact with his family, please let them know that he was one of the very few people on this earth that I hold in very high respect.  I'm making a living today today ,at 58, because of Gordon Glaysher.  I would have given anything to have met up with him in last 20 years or so.  I hope he's conducting a "mean" big band in heaven.  Larry Tomko www.tomko-music.com Tel:  06 08 61 88 51

GUNDERSON, Cliff & wife, Pat  - Faculty & Principal 
 @ Chas: 1954, 55-56
Mission Viejo, CA
Graduation Year:  1940 @ Dix Rural High School, Dix, NE

Cliff's Page - More Pics


jpnote:  I enjoy frequent emailing with Mr. Gunderson.  He and his wife are very nice and gracious people.  Wish he had been one of my teachers.}


"The Gadabout Gundersons" - Here they are in the Buckingham Gardens.  I think this is recent - 11-27-07 - but I'm not sure. {jp}

My wife and I have celebrated our 56th Anniversary and wonder where the years of our adventures have gone. We continue to enjoy our lives together and to meet up with friends.  We met my ole Army Air Corps buddy last month after 60 years.  Our prayers for our service personnel and their families are giving us strength in this time of war.  I am searching for:  peace and faith and love.  We love you, Jenelle, and those you've brought to us. Cliff and Pat

5-10-06  It is good to see the 1955 annual, nicely presented; Mr. Martin and I keep in touch, thanks to Jenelle. Pat and I have traveled a bit and enjoy our family and friends. All the Best, Cliff

Searching for:  Students who wish to send emails and reminence. Wilhemina Engler, English teacher 1955 and '56. Miss Engler went to Wiesbaden for '57.

10-2007  Cliff and Pat and their daughter, Diane and her husband, Brad, attended the celebration in Chateauroux.  They have contributed many of their own photos of the three-day party.  See Chas 2007

HALL, David T. - Band, Chorus   - Where are you David T. Hall, Chateauroux American High School Faculty?
 @ Chas: 1963-65

HATHAWAY, William "Will" - Principal 1960-61  
San Antonio, TX

10-09-04  You have a well organized site, doing a great job.  Was the high school and junior high principal in 1960-61 and have been searching for ex faculty of that time period.

[10-04 - jpnote:  Had a fun phone conversation with Mr. Hathaway. (He is 88 years young.)  He recalled his days as our principal; especially some of the student pranks!] 


KNOEPFEL, Gerald - 1929-2008 See Chad Memoriam
Music  & Junior High Social Studies
@ Chad 1958-59 School Year

Chad Marriages  (married Miss Esneault - Biology)


[jpnote:  Mr. Knoepfel was my favorite teacher from all my school years.]

[Tony Lamb '60 provided these photos from a Weisbaden Reunion.]

Priscilla Presley ('61 Weisbaden grad) & Mr. Knoepfel

KORSHALLA, Anne King - High School Business Teacher - No email available
Dallas, PA

Searching for: Jan Cazebonne

photo from Clint Gould

 MALMO, Dean - Faculty - 1959 - Social Studies & Dramatics    - See Chad Memoriam

  This was Mr. Malmo's email address.  Perhaps Mrs. Malmo is checking it still.

Barbara & Dean Malmo at a Weisbaden Reunion


MARTIN, Lawrence J. (Larry) - Faculty  
@ Chas: 1954-1956
Elburn, IL

2-25-05 I am searching for: Wilhemina (Billy) Engler from Kansas.  She was a freshman teacher during the school year 1954-55  Those were great years--I loved the kids.

[jp connection - Larry & Cliff Gunderson - Principal during time Larry was part of the faculty.  Larry wrote with information about two other teachers - Henry & June Behrens.  See above listing.] 

Searching O'DONNELL, Ellen - friend of Vicki Wassenhove - see entry below
POOCH, Charles - Faculty 1964 - Math & English  No email available

Photo provided by Roger Vacca '64

REDDINGTON, John - Faculty - 1956-58 Email not available
9-25-04 - My years of 1956-58 at Chateauroux were wonderful years for me, wonderful students, a  lot of laughs.  I taught mostly English, all 4 high school levels, but also bookkeeping, at one point, to fill a spot that the schedule called for.  When I was the principal of Wiesbaden High School, 1960-62, I knew Jerry Knoepfel, who was on the staff there at that time, and who subsequently went to Waukasha, Wisconsin, to teach.  He had wonderful spirit, great enthusiasm, great warmth, and also starred in a community presentation of the musical Finian's Rainbow.  He was a great showman.  Directed large musical groups in the high school, used to recruit among the students with an enthusiasm we usually associate with professional athletic coaches.  Would be delighted to hear from anyone who may remember being there with me.  John Reddington
[Mary Lee Donald '59 and Mr. Reddington have been neighbors for many years.  She proclaims that Mr. Reddington was her favorite teacher and had a great influence on her life.]

REISTAD, Raymond - Principal - 1963-1966 - In Memoriam

Mr. Reistad's Personal Page





RILEY, ED - Faculty -   
Faculty - Social Studies & History
@ Chad:1963-64
Kokomo, IN
01/11/2002 Comments: Thanks for all the photos and information about Chateauroux. I taught social studies 7-8-9 in 1963-64 and would enjoy hearing from any students or faculty who might remember me.
[jpnote:  Jerry Lovejoy (Mr. Riley's 7th grade class) recalls Mr. Riley's influence. They communicate frequently.]

RITA,  Vera Crews - Faculty 1955-57   
@ CHAD 1955-57
Graduation:  1946 - New Jersey
Anchorage, AK

11-08-06 I was a teacher there in 55-56 and returned in '57 when I married Ralph Crews.   Chas Marriage to Lt. Crews there in Dec. '56.  I do remember Cliff Gunderson, altho I lost track of him several years ago.  I am still in touch with at least 10 or more of the teachers from those days, and the first of our teacher group recently passed away .  . .  Marg Abbott Denham, who was the 1st grade teach that we all loved. 

Presently, I teach piano, play casual gigs  and dabble in other things, like web design [see www.alaskamagiccircle.com] and outside travel agent, and Hostelling International (Alaska Council President) and Pioneers of Alaska (I've been here 40 years and hold offices with this group of older Alaskans)  and on the executive board of the Anchorage Bucs Baseball Club. ..  also appointment to Alaska State Council on the arts, and the other usual things, like church groups, Alaska Golf Assn., etc. but let's say I've been active all along. ..    easy to do since I live alone and have 24 hours a day to play.   Blessed with good health, (I'm 77 [@2006]) and my grandchildren (of / and daughter) live out of state - her husband is Sony exec so no work here for him.   My son and wife live here but she's visiting nurse so in Fla. for 3 months now - he's retired Air Guard.

10-24-09 I think it's great that you continue your alliance with Chateauroux -- all well here in Anchorage, but I can't possibly come back to Ohio (?) for your historic occasion. ..  good memories of Chateauroux, tho' . ..   are you in touch with Col. (Ret'd) Charlie Brown in Chehalis  Washington?  Mendel Pogell in San Antonio?  Bud Beadles in California?  We're all from the 1955-57 era, and many have passed away now, of course .  (She is referring to Chatx June 2010 Presentation)

2-14-10 My gosh, I can't believe that you all have kept Chateauroux alive ...  I am forwarding this to two of the teachers who have email -- as far as I know, the others don't.  I phoned two of them in November when I was visiting Boston for a meeting, but didn't have a car so couldn't drive out to see them, and they were busy so didn't come into the big city -- Woburn and Walpole I think are their cities... I don't get that close that often.  I guess from reading your ltr that the base is no longer for the French Foreign legion, as it was on my last visit in 1985, I think .... The only thing American was the restaurant called Joe from Maine, or something like that. ..  the family I rented from, Charlie Brown (remarried after Ellen died) live in Chehalis WA ...  at least some of their 4 children do -- Ingrid Rees is the oldest daughter.  Well, I really don't 'do' facebook, but it's getting harder and harder not to ...  guess I'll log on and figure it all out.

Vera's website:  www.veracrews.com


TAFT, Bruce S.  Faculty  
From: Mesa, AZ
DoDDS '59 - '92
@ Chas:'59-Mar'60 & '63-'65
 3/29/02:  Received an e-mail from Randy Coleman '60 with a strong suggestion to visit this site. It's outstanding! Thank you, Jenelle. Will visit more often to keep up with the happenings of our students, grads, and faculty. Really sorry to not be able to attend San Antonio - wonderful city for a Reunion - but my wife and I will be on our way to Portugal and Madeira for the month of May. I'll look for the pictures of everybody walking the "River Walk" upon our return. Many thanks to Randy for looking me up on the web. Mr. "T"
Comments: Hello, Jenelle, and other Chateauroux students and staff. I appreciate your msg., Jenelle, and look forward to hearing from others that were there in the '59 - '63 timeframe. I was a math teacher in '59 and '60 and then returned as ass't. principal from '63 - '65. I was then transferred to Paris American to close out PAHS in '67. We have very fond memories of our years at CHAS.

[jpnote:  John Carpenter, science teacher '59-'60 & Mr. Taft have been reunited after more than 40 years!]

I am currently on the Board of Directors of AOSHS (The American Overseas Schools Historical Society) and we will be building the AOSHS Museum and Archives in Wichita, KS in the near future. I'll send more on this in future months. Again, Jenelle, thanks for the msg. and in getting this site up and running. A bouquet to you!!! Mr. T.

7-29-10 - email to JP:  Hello Jenelle,  You have the right guy!  [referring to JP's FB inquiry}.  I taught math in '59 - '60 and then returned in '63 - '65 as ass't. principal.  I then transferred to Paris American as principal till it closed in '67.  My wife and I now live in Mesa, AZ, will be attending the Overseas Schools and DoDDS Reunion in Indianapolis from tomorrow through the 3rd.  We are also flying to Paris for Christmas and New Years - as you can read - we enjoy France!  ...

VANDERKOLK, Donald (wife, Suzanne)
@ Chas 64-65

Carl Peters located Mr. Vanderkolk - no email, but there is a phone number.

WASSENHOVE, Vicki Swanson 
@ Chas 65-66
Faculty:  Jr. High Art Teacher

3-19-07 Vicki (Swanson) Wassenhove. I taught art to Jr and Sr high school and did the yearbook during the 65-66 school year at Chateauroux. My husband and I were married in Deols in Dec 65…hence the name change from Swanson to Wassenhove.  (CHAS Marriages) I have only stayed in touch with some of my teacher friends from that year. Dan Basarich, Ellen O’Donnell and Dottie Zirkle. Thanks for doing the good job on the web site. I know that it’s a lot of work and sometimes people don’t think about saying they appreciate the fine job. Are you the one who originated the site? Vicki

3-21-07  Fantastic!  What a great job you’ve done!  I had no idea there was such an extensive site about the Americans in Chas.  I’m anxious to show the site to my husband.  How wonderful for you to organize the 40 year reunion. I will pass on the link to both sites to my co-teachers. The aerial view of the hospital was a delight… I saw my old BOQ and the officer’s club and it brought back tons of memories.  Wish it had included the school buildings in the fields to the left.  We took lots of pictures around the base and the town back in 65 & 66.  My husband was just getting into B&W photography & we used the base photo lab to developed dozens of them.  Many probably never made it past the negative stage.  I might also have some trivial base memorabilia from those days, but I’ll need to look.  You might send me your snail mail address in case I find some hard copy duplicates of possible interest to you.  I can probably scan some things and send them by email. 

I arrived in Chas at the start of the school year. My fiancé came over on Dec 5th, 1965 and I met him at the Orly airport.  We were married the following weekend on the 11th.  While living there as a civilian, he managed the base auto hobby shop.  Do you have photos of Colonel Pope from those years?  I haven’t checked your site thoroughly as I’d like yet.  We took several photos of him in his office.  The art teacher that preceded me was Betty something.  Is Acuff or Adamek right?  Both names sound familiar. [jpnote:  Acuff was the teacher - Adamek was probably one of your students.] Maybe you will inspire me to post a “wedding in France” page on my own website.  [3-29-07 - jpnote:  Send me your website address and I will link to it from here. (emld her)]

See Vicki's personal homepage at http://users.qconline.com/~vixpage/ 

ZIRKLE, Dottie  - Friend of Vicki Wassenhove (see entry above) - No email available

Historical Articles

The articles below are shared by Robert Belle, Jr. who is the son of Gladys H. Baker who was the USAFE Reading Consultant and teacher at one of the DoD schools in Evereux, France.  Mrs. Baker celebrated her 92nd birthday on April 20, 2008 with her family and friends.  Her son, Robert, presented her with a scrapbook of her many accomplishments as a teacher since her college graduation in 1939.  Among the many memories recalled in the book were souvenirs of a train trip she took throughout Europe.  Congratulations Mrs. Baker and thank you for your service to our country by guiding our youth to become productive and successful citizens!

Other DoD educators and military observers mentioned in these articles from The Overseas Family are:  Col. George W. Kinney; Mr. Tom Foster; Stanley Mellon, Ph.D.; M. Roger Barr; Mr. Robert Button; Mr. William Easly; Mr. Ross McCray; Thomas Finletter; William Brinker; Dr. Roger Barr; and Allen Dale Olson.  This was quite an historic event for the faculty "back then" and now.


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