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Gene has a success story to share.
 
By the way Gene, what is it you're brewing
in that chemistry lab of yours?  Something to use on Toni?
 
 
 
 
Gene tells us this is the only boyhood  photo he has.
 
 
Perhaps someday he will find others.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gene's Story
 
 
I had no idea of becoming a teacher when I entered Central Missouri State College in 1954. In fact, I had no intention of attending college at all, for doing so was not part of our family tradition. I was the first in my family to take that step.
 
 
If it had not been for an assistant football coach, Larry Bates, who encouraged me to try out for the football team my sophomore year in high school, I probably would have dropped out of school when I turned sixteen as did my older brother. I'm not sure to this day why I followed Coach Bates' suggestion, but I did.
 
I found out that I could play football pretty well, and I found a place to belong. (I remember how good it felt to be able to knock someone down and get patted on the back for it instead of being sent to the principal's office. It was great!) I went on to play varsity football two more years and was fortunate to be part of an undefeated championship team my senior year.
 
 
Midway through the season my senior year, Coach Bates asked if I had thought of attending college and playing football. I told him I had not. But, the more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea. Soon, thanks to my coaches, I was having lunches and dinners with various university football coaches. Later that year, I was offered a full scholarship to play for Don Faurot at the University of Missouri.
 
I was "riding high" until I received a letter in June from the University informing me that my GPA was not high enough to permit them to honor the scholarship offer, so they withdrew it. For me to have been eligible for that scholarship, I had to have graduated in the top two-thirds of my high school class. I had not.
 
Since I could not afford to attend Missouri University on my own, I ended up attending Central Missouri State College on a football scholarship. Starting out, I intended to major in architectural drafting, but soon found that field did not hold my interest. After trying business and a couple of other majors, which I have since forgotten, I decided to major in education. This was about halfway through my junior year. Since I was active in sports, I had taken several physical education courses upon the advice of my advisors who were coaches.
 
Thinking of my high school coach, Larry Bates, I decided to become a physical education teacher and a coach. Shortly after declaring a major in physical education, however, I was informed by an advisor that I must also have a minor teaching field.
 
In finding that I had three more hours in science than I did in social studies, I decided to minor in science, thinking that I would never be teaching in that area anyway.
 
As it turned out, the only teaching position available in the school where my wife was teaching was in science. Since the position carried with it two assistant coaching jobs (football and basketball), I accepted it, thinking I could tolerate the classroom as long as I could do what I really wanted to do each afternoon – coach.
 
The first time I ever stood before a class of students was my first day on the job. Little did I realize the world that was about to open to me. Although I was miserably ill-prepared to teach biology and general science, I soon found the thrill and excitement of molding and nurturing young minds.
 
After just two years in the classroom I gave up all aspirations of becoming a career coach and hose, instead, to devote my time and energies to becoming the best science teacher I could be.. 
 
I have never regretted that decision.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

   Dr. F. Gene Hampton - Considered by many educators to be a "teacher's teacher," Dr. Hampton taught at Shawnee Mission South High School. The Kansas Teacher of the Year in 1998 and an inductee into the Kansas Teacher's Hall of Fame in 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1985. More than 300 of his students have competed in and frequently won in state, national and international competition including more than 20 who have earned national recognition. Because of Dr. Hampton's imaginative, innovative and creative teaching, countless students have successfully moved on in the field of biology and science and many of his teaching strategies and skills for motivating students to learn have been implemented in Kansas City schools.

 
 
 
 
COMMENTS FROM SOME OF GENE'S STUDENTS
 
 
"I had several wonderful teachers during my years at South, but undoubtedly, Gene Hampton influenced me most. He is, in fact, the best school teacher I ever had."
 
§
 
"I look forward to his class every day because I know it will be interesting and fun. He’s opened up my eyes to all science fields."
 
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"Dr. Hampton taught me to take risks, rise up to the challenges, and put forth my best effort. As a person still in the sciences, I draw on many of the skills and approaches to science I learned from him."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gene at the 50th Southeast Reunion - 2004
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 55th Southeast Reunion - 2009
See the entire 55th Reunion multimedia presentation
It is listed on the Home menu
 
 
Toni and Gene Hampton Gene with his Knotts grade school classmates
 at the Cinzetti Luncheon.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009 - 2010 Health Issue
 
 
 
Gene underwent quadruple by-pass surgery Friday, December 4, 2009 at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City. MO.   
 
Gene underwent quadruple by-pass surgery Friday, December 4, 2009 at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City. MO.   
 
His recovery went well.  After the surgeon released him Gene then had out-patient therapy three times a week at Menorah.
 
Before leaving Menorah, Gene allowed the picture (below) to be taken after Toni "combed his hair.
 
 
Gene and Toni Hampton.
Three Southeast Geezers - Dave Morton - Gene - and Don Kraft!!
January 21st  - IT'S PARTY TIME:
 
WELCOME BACK GENE HAMPTON
 Gene returns to the SE Lunch Bunch!
The picture of health.
 
May 6th  - Gene with his Southeast classmates at the 102nd First Watch Lunch Bunch.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 60th Southeast Reunion - 2014
See the entire 60th Reunion multimedia presentation
It is listed on the Home menu
 
 
Looking great in 2014 Gene and Chuck Welty at the IHOP luncheon.
Toni and Gene at the reunion dinner Gene with Ron and Linda Moore
The Knotts grade school class in 2014
Arlene (Van Bibber) Vanzandt, Luann (Mitchell) Nelson, Gene, Jean Anne (Dawson) Williams, Clark Smith, Jean (Stafford) Whitington, Sylvia (Flannery) Kelpe, Larry Thomas, Jerry Roberts. Norman Nester
 
 
 
 
 
 
For many years Gene and Toni have attended
 the weekly Southeast lunches
 
 
Gene with David Morton and Jim Jeffreies
Gene with Larry Thomas and Toni
Gene with Sandy (Steele) Jones, Gene and Bob Adelsperger
 Lois (Garner) Hightower  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gene passed away
on December 15, 2015
 
Gene's daughter said this in a message to his classmages:
 
My dad died last Tuesday.
 
Dad had a long, rich life with plenty of highlights. He was a biology teacher extraordinaire for 50 years, a Master Gardener, and a lifelong lover of nature. Dad was the center of a huge group of people who loved him - family, friends, students and their families. He leaves behind a legacy of former students that are now surgeons, doctors, scientists, and teachers, as well as hundreds of people who, regardless of their career, love nature and science because of him. We are all thankful that his exit was so graceful. I'm grateful too that since moving back to Kansas City two years ago, we were able to spend so much time together with dad - not over Skype, but in person - getting and giving real hugs to Grandpa Gene.
 
The most important thing I learned through the course of this journey is "Be kind, always. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
 
This is I think my favorite picture of my dad. It was taken this summer, and includes two beings that brought him so much joy: his grandson, Alex, and his dog, Muffin.
 
 
Now, friends, please go hug someone you love.
 
 
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