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Watching the light bulb go on

Cindy Ramunno
Kira Horvath/Vail DailyScience teacher Tim Caudill teaches one of his biology classes about the Mendelian Patterns of Inheritance Wednesday at Battle Mountain High School, where he has tought for six years.
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EAGLE-VAIL ” Anytime we ask Battle Mountain High School students who their favorite teacher is, the name Tim Caudill comes up a lot. We dug deep and got the answers to some personal questions on one of your favorite teachers.

1. What was been the scariest moment in your life?

Once, while backpacking in northern New Mexico, a sprinting deer at dusk surprised me so much that my legs actually buckled. I proceeded to collapse on the tent my wife was in, breaking all the tent poles. Hearing my primal scream and feeling her shelter come down all around her, I think she was as scared as I.



2. What was it like where you grew up?

Growing up in the wine country, in Northern California, was a really neat experience. Besides being in a rural setting ” in my youth, Santa Rosa was as large as Glenwood Springs ” the weather was fantastic and the people friendly. I think many of my teachers and parents’ friends were old hippies.



Agriculture and wine tourism dominated the economy, so there were always festivals to visit, and hay rides to take.

3. How is it different here than where you grew up?

The weather. After each big snowstorm, my mother-in-law wonders aloud if I am going to move back to the Bay Area. Additionally, the small town feel, somewhat naive nature of kids, and ability to run into acquaintances while out on the town remind me of my hometown when I was a kid – not what it has evolved into now.



4. What type of kid were you in elementary school?

I was very nerdy when it came to my studies, but outgoing, polite and constantly playing sports.

5. What were your parents like?

They were very open, friendly, supportive and fun-loving.

6. Growing up, any chaotic aspects of life?

No.

7. Growing up, any structure?

I am the son of an elementary school teacher and government administrator (for the County Health Department), so boundaries were very clear. I was given time to have fun and explore, but when it came time to get to business ” church, schoolwork, chores ” there was no messing around.

8. Growing up, any humor?

My family, like any large family had great fun. Someone was always testing someone else, which led to many good times and laughter.

9. Growing up, any sad/hard times or situations?

Thankfully, none.

10. Did you grow up with a lot of the same kids?

Yes, my most valuable and lasting relationships were forged on sports fields ” we played whatever sport was in season, and became closer every day.

11. Describe the type of kid you were in secondary school…

Same as I was in elementary school ” except that I was getting into more trouble.

12. Where did you go to college?

B.S., biology, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Calif; M.S., physiology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Teaching Credential, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

13. When did you know what you wanted to pursue as a career?

In graduate school, I found that I enjoyed teaching tough concepts to others, and realized that I was thrilled by watching the proverbial “light bulb” go on. In addition, I noticed the professional satisfaction and time with the family that my father had. He loved teaching.

14. What made you come here?

The laid back, active lifestyle. And the fact that my wife’s family lived here.

15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully teaching at Battle Mountain.

16. What are some of your pet peeves in the classroom?

When students talk socially while someone is addressing them.

17. Most embarrassing moment teaching at Battle Mountain.

I have tripped and fallen many times while teaching. I guess I am not focusing on the backpacks and coats which have made their way to the floor.

18. What are some of the best things about Battle Mountain?

The best thing is the wonderful diversity of kids and the multiple academic and extra-curricular opportunities that exist here.

Additionally, since Brian Hester and team have taken over as our administration, things are more organized than ever, and our students have really bought into higher expectations ” in school pride, academic rigor, and looking out for each other.

Moreover, I am constantly humbled by the expertise, generosity and dedication of our staff, most notably Nancy Lindbloom, Rob Parish, Jan Abbott, Suzanne Foster and David Cope.

Finally, I find myself constantly impressed by the intellectual level and work ethic of our brightest students ” many are succeeding on a daily basis in multiple courses taught by Colorado Mountain College faculty within our building.

This means that 59 percent of our 11th and 12th graders are obtaining guaranteed in-state college credit through a reciprocity program with Colorado Mountain College. Many are graduating high school as sophomores or almost juniors in college.

19. Your advice for high school students?

1. Find your passion, work hard at becoming the best you can at your craft, then find a way to get paid to do it.

2. The world’s most successful people constantly seek to make those around them better.

3. An important part of being successful is showing up on time.


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