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Angelo Cortopassi

Original post made by Biebs, another community, on Jan 3, 2010

This is nearly seven years late, but I just recently found an article on line that appeared in the Palo Alto Weekly on line on August 13, 203. It was written by Grace Rauh, and after sending an email to her provided email address, it was returned. I would like to thank the Palo Alto Weekly for this article and update on Mr. Angelo Cortopassi. I would welcome receiving any futher updates concerning this wonderful and unforgetable man.

Recently I was asked about some of the people that I felt had most influenced my life. Mr. Angelo Cortopassi came to mind. That iniated me to go to the internet, and I found the Grace Rauh story of August 13, 2003 in the Palo Alto Weekly.

First, I am saddened to learn of that the fate of MS has fallen on such an incredible and decent human being as Mr. Angelo Cortopassi. I also wish to express my appreciation to Palo Alto Weekly for the article writeen by Ms. Rauh.

I am a 58 year old woman residing in my "home town" of Green Bay, WI. In the early to mid-1960s, my family lived in San Jose, CA. While there, I attended Dartmouth Junior High School and had the good fortune to have Mr. Cortopassi as my 9th grade science and biology teacher.

During that year, the state of California ran a "Who's Your Favorite School Teacher?" contest." Ballots were printed in local newspapers for students to complete and mail in. At the date the contest ended and the ballots were counted, Mr. Cortopassi came in second. He won a wonderful trip to the Mediterranean. Typical of Mr. Cortopassi, he did not mind coming in second, saying he actually favored the trip to the Mediterranean over the destination chosen for the first place winner.

Within a few days of the end of the contest, hundreds of ballots voting for Mr. Cortopassi were found in a room at the school, and they had somehow been overlooked from being mailed in. Had those ballots been sent in, Mr. Cortopassi would have been chosen the first place favorite teacher by an overwhelming majority of votes.

I was by far not one of his best students. I excelled in classes like English and Creative Writing, and struggled through the math and science classes. In Science class, Mr. Cortopassi, in his infinite wisdom, paired me as a lab partner with one of the sharpest kids in the class, Ray Sandoval. I guess he hoped I could learn by osmosis and the good mentor Ray would be!

Mr.Cortopassi had the innate ability to inspire all students. He captured our attention with his humor and enthusiasm for all things in life, and he made learning genuinely fun. Going to his glass was always a joy, and now that I myself am nearing retirement and looking back on the memorable and special moments of my life, Mr. Cortopassi's Science and Biology class definitely stands out as an extreme privilege, a warm memory, and the realization that he truly was one of the most influential people in my life.

Best Regards,


Jeanne A. Biebel
Green Bay, WI

Comments (3)

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Posted by bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

bru is a registered user.

Mr. Cortopassi was my 10th grade science teacher at PALY. He always made the lectures interesting, and funny. He should definitely be named Favorite School Teacher.


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Posted by Jeanne Biebel
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I mistakenly said Mr. Cortopassi was my Science/Biology teacher in the 9th grade. It was actually 8th grade. This would have been 1965-1966. Mr. Cortopassi definitely won the "Favorite Teacher" contest that was held, and well deserved. Maybe it was divne intervention that a ton of ballots were missplaced and did not get mailed in, because he surely was thrilled about going to the Mediterranean! If I recall, he took his mother along when he went, possibly both of his parents. Sure would like to learn how he is doing, if anyone knows and can add the info to this site. By the way, my fellow classmates went on to high school in San Jose at Leigh High and Branham High, graduating class of 1970. After 8th grade, my family moved back to Green Bay. Would love to hear from any former classmates of mine from Dartmouth Junior High.


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Posted by david wickemeyer
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I too had Mr. Cortopassi in 8th grade at Dartmouth in the middle 1960s and graduated from Leigh High School 1970. Though Biology was not my best subject, Mr. Coropassi made it fun and interesting, and one of my more enjoyable classes. Though I never did discover anything to name after him (he always told his students to name it "Cortopassium") I do think about him often and am sorry to hear about his MS. If anyone knows a way of contacting him, I would like to send him a note.


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