Mr. Harry Geiser, NDA’s ‘Most Interesting Man’

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Contrary to popular belief, the most interesting man in the world does not spend his days shooting Dorsch Ford commercials, but actually resides here at NDA in Room 206.

Harry Geiser did not anticipate becoming a teacher.

“When I first started, I was gonna just work a couple years to pay off my college loans,” he said. He never expected to make a career in teaching and definitely didn’t see himself in the same building 50 years later.

Geiser started teaching in 1966 at Premontre. Notre Dame Academy was created in 1990, with Mr. Geiser there to watch it all change.

“I didn’t think that I would like teaching, [but] after a year or two I started liking teaching and then it became a love. Then, I said I’ll just keep doing this until I can’t anymore.”

Fifty years later, and Geiser shows no signs of stopping. “It became a love affair with teaching.”

Students taking Calculus 1, 2, and Pre-calc have the chance to be taught by this NDA legend.

“I always like teaching a class or two of algebra so I get to know some freshmen,” Geiser explained.

In fact, he confessed that freshman classes are his favorite to teach.

“Freshman algebra is the hardest class to teach, but it’s the most rewarding because you make a difference,” he said.  Geiser enjoys the challenge of teaching reluctant math learners.

If forced to choose, Geiser’s favorite part of teaching is the relationships that develop from it: “You get to know a whole bunch of good people, students and teachers, you get to interact with them and every year is new.”

He admits that some chores can get tedious, but it’s all worth it in the end.

“Some of the teaching tasks can get monotonous, making out grades is monotonous, correcting quizzes is monotonous, but the teaching part and the relation part is not monotonous at all.”

Fifty years at one school is a long time, but, according to the math teacher, NDA is no ordinary school.

“Many things distinguish NDA. This school takes education seriously. The students want to learn, and there’s a culture here of learning and that’s just fun to be with.”

As many students know, Geiser runs a farm in his free time. “[Farming] is a way for me to unwind. All day long I deal with people, people, people but when I get home there are things to do, things to lift, cattle to feed– that kind of thing.”

He appreciates the break from conversation and contends “farming and teaching compliment each other.”

Eleanor Sladek, a junior in Geiser’s homeroom, believes that Geiser is one of the treasures of NDA. “In his half century of teaching, Mr. Geiser has mastered the art of cracking jokes and using light sarcasm.”

Sladek looks forward to homeroom every week for this very reason. “Homeroom with Mr. Geiser has improved my sense of humor and open mindedness, which have both helped me in my commitment to become a better student and person.”

Sladek has never had Geiser in class, but has gotten to know him through her years in his homeroom. “Mr. Geiser, with the utmost respect, is quite the character,” Sladek said. “He is someone who has positively impacted Notre Dame Academy and will leave a footprint here that will last into the many years to come.”

As for any advice Geiser would give, it’s pretty straightforward: “Do your math homework first!”