Joy of teaching still strong in math mentor

Other Staff

Imagine eating fermented fish balls and raw seafood, then regurgitating it all back up during the feast and having to choke it back down so as not to insult the host family.

Lonnie Godfrey, campus math teacher, encountered many trials and hardships during his three-year missionary trip in Thailand, but in comparison to the many souls he converted to Christianity, the hardship was worth it.

Godfrey graduated from Murdock High School in Winchedon, Massachusetts, in 1950 and then attended Cushing Academy, a college preparatory school in Ashburnham, Massachusetts.

“My favorite teacher out of all my years in school was Paul Heslin at Cushing Academy,” Godfrey said. ” He freely gave of himself to help me when I was struggling in mathematics.”

Godfrey gave his life to the Lord in April 1955. Later on in1955, he graduated from the Academy. In September1956, he married Elsie Marie and a year later, he had his first child, marking the beginning of their seven-member family.

Godfrey graduated from Georgia Tech in 1958. There, he received a B.S. in major Industrial Management. In 1967, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire, where he received a Masters in mathematics.

“I would advise students to take the most challenging courses they can,” Godfrey said, “Spiritually speaking, I would also encourage each student to be totally committed to the cause of the Kingdom and to spend at least 1/3 as much time in the scriptures as they do on TV, the Internet and video games.”

Although beginning his teaching career in 1958, Godfrey took 10 years off to be regional sales manager for a consulting firm and four years off to be a missionary in Malaysia and Thailand.

“The one thing I love most about teaching,” Godfrey said, “is the opportunity to be with young people and to encourage them to be whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. So much joy comes from helping young people grow in their faith and commitment to Christ.”

Although Godfrey has been teaching on campus for the past 13 years, he previously taught at schools in Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia and Ohio.

“I would describe my philosophy of teaching as setting the goals high enough so that each student needs to stretch to reach them,” Godfrey said. “Then, I will be there, ready and available, to assist them in obtaining those goals.”

Godfrey enjoys fishing, reading books written by Ravi Zacharias and camping in western Canada, but most of all, he loves to teach.

“Mr. Godfrey is the best teacher ever,” Carli Albrechtson, ’03, said. “I’ve had him for two years, and his dedication to the students is amazing. He really goes out of his way to make an impact in his students lives and that’s something I really admire.”

In the last week of May, Godfrey is scheduled for heart surgery to open a blocked artery but plans on returning to campus to continue teaching math and mentoring students in the fall.

“I don’t worry at all about surgery,” Godfrey said. “I am at peace with God and know that God has my life in his hands at all times. “I hope to be back on campus for graduation.”” “Madeline Ervin, Photographer” “While Lonnie Godfrey’s math classes are small in size, his students benefit from one-on-one attention every day. Godfrey, middle, works with juniors Jenny Ficklin, left, and Michelle Smith in algebra II honors class on May 9. ” “Sheree Temple, Photographer” “Lonnie Godfrey has taught math on campus for 13 years.” “