Tribute to Mr. Moorlach


Jaime Lopez, author

Teachers mark prints in students’ lives that they will carry forever. Some teachers may even change their students’ lives in beautiful ways. Mr. Moorlach was a teacher who was able to accomplish this. Before Mr. Moorlach taught at Sycamore Jr. High, he taught at Dale Jr. High school. He transferred to Sycamore Jr. High to teach math and became the woodshop teacher and taught there for over 30 years. He taught young teenagers how to use tools to build amazing wood projects. He says, “Knowing how to work with your hands is important to both the trades and to my future heart surgeon.”

Many students recall him as a very tall, kind-hearted teacher who was also strict. One student recalls Mr. Moorlach calling her “Gumby,” which is one of her fondest memories of Mr. Moorlach. Another student recalls Mr. Moorlach teaching the proper safety precautions of using machinery and telling them the horror stories of past students who got injured using the machinery. Due to this, the student never once used the disc sander.

Mr. Moorlach had a very classic way of disciplining students. Many students may remember a phrase that he had above the whiteboard that you would have to write repeatedly, depending on how bad the infraction was. The phrase, “for success, attitude is as important as ability,” was rewritten on a piece of paper, and you had to finish it as fast as possible if you wished to continue on your current project and get a good grade.

I was lucky enough to have been the TA for his first period in 8th grade. I was always helping him do tasks around the classroom, such as sweeping the classroom, taking out the trash, getting supplies ready for upcoming projects, and much more tasks that may sound boring but were quite entertaining. 

Mr. Moorlach gave students lots of life advice. Some students remember him telling them to “not take life so seriously” and to “learn to live in the moment,” and others remember him telling them to “be careful.”

Mr. Moorlach enjoyed teaching at Sycamore Jr. High school. He enjoyed working alongside other wonderful teachers and the great students that he had had over the years. Mr. Moorlach recalls when he was teaching metal shop, and Mr. Schaeffer was teaching woodshop when the fire alarm went off, and they were the only classes out on the field when the office announced over the PA system that it had been a false alarm. Mr. Moorlach had made a great impression on both students and teachers alike. He was a great teacher, and he will continue to be an amazing person.