Memories and Musings for Mr. Bell

….His Last Shakespeare….

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You’re probably wondering why in the world I wrote this to you, but we had to write letters to a strong male figure in our lives for AP language. I’ve been thinking about you a lot and the valuable info you gave us. And then I remembered never really thanked you for the time you took in each class to explain everything to us. So THANK YOU MR. POWHATAN MAN!- 2013 graduate




55 thoughts on “Memories and Musings for Mr. Bell”

  1. Mr. Bell,

    Congratulations on your career!

    I am a teacher now too, and only now do I fully appreciate the effect that being your student had on me, so I wanted to make sure you know my gratitude and respect for you. I now experience first-hand the thanklessness of all the prep, and the obscurity of the long-term effects of a teacher’s work on a student’s life — the leap it can take to believe you are doing something whose goodness will light up for someone else. When my bright-eyed advisees ask for career advice, I smile at the memory of you explaining to me how to play a drunken Falstaff. When a student takes his third bathroom break of a class period, I see myself sneaking out to roam the corridor and escape my own seventh-grade lostness in thought. While first-year students stare at me as I hawk the idea of social construction, I remember how lame you seemed for professing The McNeil / Lehrer News Hour as your favorite t.v. show. When we translate David Hume into English, I remember you teaching us how to read a poem. When a student demurs at a mistaken claim, I remember the confidence I got from your direction to shove aside the cast and wrap up the curtain call to Henry IV, Part I.

    Each of these singular moments sticks with me as I see time and time again, through your role in my life as a youngster, what I could not have recognized then as intellectual inspiration, admiration for the liberal arts and how words empower the mind, and a desire to command respect in order to give it back to those I work to teach, so that they might be transformed as I’ve been. I know that my personal and professional persona is all emulation, and I want you to know that yours stands high in my pantheon.

    I wish you all the reward you deserve! Sincerely,

    — Nate Zuckerman, class of 1994

  2. Mr. Bell!

    You were one of the most influential teachers in my life, from map quizzes to the Shakespeare play, every memory is cherished. Your teaching, engery, and quirks will always be fondly remembered by not only myself, but also many alumns. Thank you for your long years of changing live, Powhatan Man ūüôā

    -Jillian Riney, Class of 2013

  3. Mr. Bell,

    You are quite a legend in your own time! So glad my daughters & granddaughters were able to have the experience of your talents!! Best wishes for your future endeavors!

    Class of 1961.

  4. Mr. Bell,

    It was such an immense pleasure to be one of your students. My appreciation for writing, history, and Shakespeare did not begin with you, but my true love for all of them did. Even though I opted to become a science teacher instead of a history teacher, you undoubtedly, were a strong influence on my educational experience. I cannot thank you enough for that. I left Powhatan in 7th grade (’91-’92), your lessons stayed with me all the way through graduate school. You are one of a kind and I can only hope to be half the teacher that you were to me. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

  5. Hi Dick,

    Thanks for your generosity to our children and for your humor and friendship to me. I’ll never forget Celeste taking the challenge of Lady Macbeth or, while watching Christa and her classmates in “Romeo and Juliet,” suddenly realizing that our children were about the ages of the tragic charcters.

    Hope to keep in touch,

    Cee Ann


  6. I have so many fond memories of Powhatan School and was fortunate  enough to have you as a teacher. Congratulations on your amazing career and retirement!

  7. “I shall no more to sea, to sea.¬†Here shall I die ashore.”
    My opening lines as Stephano in 1982. Ironic, as soon after we all went to sea, embarking on the journey of our lives. Mr. Bell personifies the Powhatan spirit in every way, providing a foundation of confidence for young women and men that supports a lifetime of exploration. His warmth, humor, patience and intellectual curiosity are contageous, creating a pandemic of academic excellence amongst his students. Thank you Mr. Bell for fostering in me a creative spark and thirst for learning that endured far beyond your classroom and those wonderful, dear days on the stage.
    “Out o’ th’ moon, I do assure thee; I was the Man i’ th’ Moon, when time was.”

  8. I’ll never forget the mysterious green smoothies for which Mr. Bell was infamous. He really understood how to get young students engaged in learning, which is something I’ll always appreciate. Especially during our class trips to historic battlefields of the civil war, you could easily see his passion for teaching and our nation’s history. While I never truly understood Shakespeare, I recognized the value of being exposed to it from a young age. Mr. Bell was an inspiration for us all, and I’m morose to see him go. Have a happy retirement, you’ve earned it.

    Class of 2o09

  9. Mr. Bell,

    We are grateful that Ned and Ellie were exposed to Shakespeare in such depth at a young age.  Your  passion and understanding for The Bard and young minds is deep.  You are a fun and extremely effective teacher.  Thank you.

  10. Mr. Bell,

    You sir are a gentlemen and a scholar. Thank you for the immeasurable contribution you have made to our Alma Mater over the years. You brought civil war battles to life with your words and convinced many a young man that putting on tights was cool. Forever in debt to your service, we will be. Albert Einstein (according to Google) once said that “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” you managed to do nothing less for hundreds of students. We thank you.

    Cheers my friend,


  11. Hi, Dick, I always enjoyed the annual Shakespeare play and having the students help with the set in Art Class  and doing the makeup and wishing I could have a part too! You did some very cool directing.

  12. Mr. Bell –

    From teaching history, to directing Shakespeare, to coaching our varsity soccer team and everything in between … you¬†are a true renaissance man!¬† Thanks for preparing me so well for high school and beyond … and for making Powhatan such a special place.¬† My only regret is that my boys (class of 2022 and 2024) will not get you as a teacher.

    Best Wishes,

    Steve (class of 1991)

  13. Much Ado About Nothing will always have a special place in my heart! Thank you so much for exposing us to great literature and for working so hard to make us educated and cultured. You have set quite the example for many Powhatan teachers.


    Peden, Class of ’91

  14. Dear Mr. Bell,

    Thank you for the years of ‚Äúfaith‚ÄĚ you‚Äôve placed in our Powhatan students and for keeping your sense of humor alive. I‚Äôm so glad you stuck around long enough for both Lucy (The Taming of the Shrew) and Hank (The Comedy of Errors) to learn from you. You‚Äôve enriched their lives (& ours) immensely. Don‚Äôt be a stranger. Come visit us at the shop in Leesburg. Let‚Äôs go ride together!

    Thank you & our best always,

    Harriet Dickerson (parent of Lucy, Class of 2013, and Hank, Class of 2016)

  15. ‚ÄúWe are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.‚ÄĚ One of my lines as Prospero in The Tempest that I still remember today. The experience of unabridged Shakespeare with Mr. Bell at Powhatan is one I often mention in my college Shakespeare class today.


    Mr. Bell,

    I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the kind of teacher you were to me, and undoubtedly many other students, in your time at Powhatan. When I tell people about my experience at Powhatan, oftentimes, people don’t believe the personal connection each student had with each teacher at the school. I always mention how at the end of each seventh grade day at dismissal, you would shake each person’s hand and ask for one thing each person had learned that day. Whether we had something interesting to say or not, you always took the time to listen and comment on whatever tidbit we would offer, and although it seems like a small thing, that kind of kindness and connection each day from a teacher is something you don’t often see and something that has stayed with me.

    A kind listener, a talented writer and thinker, a concerned teacher, and a thoughtful person. Your presence, I’m certain, will be missed at Powhatan, and the lessons we learned from you will not soon be forgotten. All of us were lucky our times at Powhatan coincided with yours.

    Enjoy your retirement,

    Caroline Search, Class of 2010

  16. Mr. Bell,

    Not quite ten years ago, I talked to you briefly about potentially making a career change into teaching. You advised me quickly and succinctly: pursue it if you are able to have love in your heart for your students.

    Certainly you are a master teacher and have done this very well for a very long time, but it’s that particular piece of advice that encapsulates the impact you’ve had on me and on countless other Powhatan students. It is special and uncommon for students to feel cared for in a classroom. You have given more than you know; each¬†time I focus on that aspect of my own teaching, my students benefit from your excellence.

    -Tommy Gilpin ’91


  17. In what other class can you say that you had 2 sets of twins (naturally), so A Comedy of Errors was an obvious choice! ¬†Year after year you pull off a great show that many people are able to enjoy. ¬†That will truly be missed! ¬†As a teacher, I can honestly say that my greatest inspirations have come from those wonderful teachers I had at Powhatan. ¬†Your history and language arts classes were among the best! ¬†I continue to channel your wit and charm in my own classroom and I often give my students that “Mr. Bell Smile.” ¬†I think of you each time and how often I earned a few of those myself (alums, you know the smile to which I refer, the one that let you know you were teetering on the edge of major trouble)! ¬†Thank you for giving me the courage to stand in front of the many (mixed) audiences that I have over the years and the resilience to keep pushing! ¬†I hope you enjoy your retirement to the fullest knowing the many lives you have touched are forever changed to the better for having been your students! ¬†Best wishes and congratulations!!!


    Crystal Marshall (Class of ’92)

  18. Mr. Bell,

    thank you for helping me understand the value of practicing integrity, putting in work, approaching things logically and appreciating the performing arts.  Your values and daily actions were an example for me and for us as a class that are still relevant and formative today.

    Good luck in all that lies beyond this point!

    Christa Doerwaldt, Class of 2004

  19. Mr. Bell,

    Congratulations on a very successful career!  I so appreciate all of the hard work you have put into your teaching but am particularly grateful for the enthusiasm with which you taught us.  Your enthusiasm brought Shakespeare and history to life for me, and undoubtedly to hundreds of other students.  You helped me learn to find joy in whatever I learn.  Thank you for this and for so many wonderful Powhatan memories!

    Best wishes,

    Maddie (Titania)

  20. I remember my Shakespeare play well, Twelfth Night (his favorite) actually. I was Fabian and had a very long speech towards the end that began “By the lord, madam…” I then promptly forgot the rest mid-performance. As Mr. Bell tried to whisper the rest of my lines, I couldn’t quite hear him so we just continued on like nothing happened. This garnered a few chuckles, but when the scene was over, I went backstage mortified thinking that I ruined the play. Mr. Bell, in typical fashion, flashed his signature smile and assured me everything would be alright, and it was. In any case, I’ve never forgotten that moment, or the experience of getting to be in one of Mr. Bells famous Shakespeare performances. It’s a right of passage for any Powhatan student.

    Mr. Bell, you have embodied the Powhatan Spirit in every way. I think back upon my time at Powhatan fondly and have always remembered your kindness, patience and dedication you’ve shown to each and every student having been taught by you. ¬†Whether it’s history, Shakespeare or life lessons, we are all better for having you as our teacher, mentor and friend. I wish you the very best in retirement, and now it’s your turn to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

    -Sumner Crawford. Class of 1995.

  21. In the fall of 1987, during my eighth-grade year, I was not only failing French, but was also miserable at the prospect of prolonging what I felt was a futile attempt at ever understanding the language. Deeply frustrated, I approached the headmaster at the time, Mr. Peebles, and asked him if there was anyway I could withdraw from French class and apply my academic efforts elsewhere. Together, he and Mr. Bell conceived a creative writing class that, as I recall, included me and one other student. I took this class very seriously, pouring myself into my work, recognizing it as a genuine opportunity to refocus my energy. Mr. Bell was instrumental in encouraging my development as a young writer.

    With hindsight, I now recognize that this was a crucial moment in my formative writing career, and one that propelled me for several decades. This culminated with my first book making it to the New York Times bestseller list. Now with a second book published, and (hopefully) more on the way, there’s no doubt that it was this class–taught by an empathetic teacher to a student who needed a different sort of guidance than a mainstream curriculum–that helped cultivate a young mind with guidance and encouragement. Thank you, Mr. Bell. You’ve helped nurture and positively affect so many young lives.

    -Forrest Pritchard, Class of 1988

  22. Dear Mr. Bell,

    Latin, history, Shakespeare‚ÄĒis there anything you didn‚Äôt teach well? I‚Äôve never had another teacher to match you. I just pray that my kids will have a Mr. Bell in their life as well. May you enjoy rich blessings in the next stage of your life.


    Joseph Farland, ‚Äė87

  23. I’ll begin by saying that you are the sole reason that I am passing my American History class. The amount of countless Civil War facts you taught me, that I had deemed irrelevant at the time, have not yet managed to escape my brain. I greatly thank you for that. Having graduated a mere three years ago, I can’t say I had you for three subjects like many of these other alums, but I can say that you were an exceptional history teacher. Another great Mr. Bell memory that I have involves our legendary seventh grade advisory, and those questionable green smoothies aforementioned by Carter.

    Although I cannot thank you for everything Mr. Bell, I can thank you for keeping me in check, exemplified by¬†my numerous ostracism’s into the hallway during history class. I also cannot thank you enough for your¬†generosity in giving me thirteen lines in¬†The Taming of The Shrew. I can thank you for being one of the most influential teachers of my academical career. Enjoy your retirement, you’ve earned it.

    Best wishes,

    Rhodes Smith, ’13



  24. Mr. Bell,

    Remember when we celebrated Justin Bieber‚Äôs birthday in my 6th grade advisory? Well, I do. We had a cake, streamers, and his music playing throughout the whole party. I remember you being just as ‚Äúexcited‚ÄĚ as we were about his new album. I will never forget sixth grade when you were my homeroom teacher, history teacher, and advisor. It was a big adjustment to upper school and you made the environment inviting and exciting. Coaching me on my Shakespeare speech relieved my nerves before the performance despite the fact that the lights didn‚Äôt work during the whole 3rd act. The show must go on, right? We learn not for school, but for life. You have taught me so much and I wish you the best.

    See you around,

    Virginia Helm ‚Äė13


    “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” Japanese proverb

    What a champion! I have learned so much from you, Mr. Bell, as student, colleague, and friend. Somehow, people like you and Laura Robb saw something in me. Maybe I’ll accomplish something after all.

    I am amazed at your energy, patience, and always positive nature. During Shakespeare you can help a young actor deliver his next line, while monitoring 28 other students. Whenever teachers talk about students, you see the positives and the potential. You are always learning and improving your teaching, even after 43 years. Thank you,

    Ray Legge, Class of 1975

  26. “All the world’s a stage” and I have many fond memories from our performance of “As You Like It” in 1997. ¬†Thank you, Mr. Bell, for the many lessons you gave us along the way. ¬†While I may have forgotten my lines from the play, I often quote my famous line as Jaques to remind myself that we are all actors and play may parts over our lifetime. ¬†Best wishes as you prepare for your upcoming retirement and direct your final production! ¬†– Wes Hillyard, Class of 1997

  27. Congratulations, Mr. Bell!

    How lucky¬†I am to have been your student! Of course I’ve got lots of memories from your history classes and from Shakespeare, but one in particular stands out. We performed Romeo & Juliet my 8th grade year, and, if my memory serves me correctly, we were the first class to do this play. During one of our performances, a classmate¬†forgot his¬†lines and we froze on stage. From behind the curtain, you cued me to start my next line, so I did, and the show went on. Afterwards, I felt embarrassed and apologized to you for not jumping in on my own. You immediately told me I had no reason to apologize, and that I saved the show! You told me you cued my lines because you knew it would get the scene going again. You made me feel like a hero!

    You always found the best in each student, and made sure we were aware of our specific talents and strengths, just like you did during that Romeo & Juliet performance. You instilled a humble confidence in students, enabling us to be our best selves.


    Lucy Glaize, Class of 2004

  28. Dear Mr. Bell,

    I just wanted to stop by, as so many of my fellow alums have, and pass along how much I appreciate everything you have done for me and countless other Powhatan students over the years. You have supported us, nurtured us, and taught us so many things. I cherish my memories of my time in your class- from map quizzes to conspiracy essays and Paradise Island economics. Your many sayings and words of wisdom serve me well every day. You taught us that history is more than a dry subject, but a living, breathing story of those who have come before, rich with possible interpretations and motives. You also taught us much about Shakespeare and the real value of his work and humor. When the stage lights went out in our final performance of “The Taming of the Shrew”, you kept so calm and helped us to pull the show off without a hitch! Your presence in my life has inspired, shaped, and helped me along my way. Thank you for everything. Congratulations on your retirement. You deserve this for your dedicated service to the students of Powhatan School. I wish you all the happiness in the world. I hope to see you soon!


    Katherine Viti

    Class of 2013

  29. Dearest Dick Bell,

    With as many children as we have (5) – we have met and our children have been taught by many teachers – some better than others. ¬† It is a rare find to have a teacher not only as knowledgable as you but truly cares, encourages, defends and finds the very best in each and every student. We have found this to be true with all three of our kids that were lucky enough to have you for a history teacher, Shakespeare director and mentor. ¬†We are so grateful that you waited to retire so that Kim (Kimmith??) our last Powhatan student could benefit in every way from her experiences from you. ¬†There is no “thank you” that appropriately says all that you have meant to our children and to us as parents. ¬†You will be missed – God’s blessings for a wonderful retirement. ¬†Pete and MP

  30. “Et Tu Brute?”, ¬†I’m still unsure why you picked a shy and reserved student for the role of Julius Ceasar in 1985. ¬† The experience pushed me to grow as a student and I will always be grateful to you for being such a big influence on me and guiding me to greater heights. ¬† You have had such an immense impact on so many students who have walked the halls of Powhatan. ¬† Congratulations on your retirement! ¬†You will be missed!


    Tyler Mistr

    Class of 1985

  31. Dear Mr. Bell,

    I was recently going through some old filing boxes and found a folder of notes and papers from my seventh grade history class with you, more than twenty years ago.  One essay was on the Golden Age of the Elizabethan era, written in careful cursive handwriting (far superior to my handwriting of today).  Rereading it reminded me of how much I loved history Рhow much I loved your class Р and how much I learned from you.  It was not by accident that I had held on to that folder for so long.
    My appreciation for what you and your colleagues gave me during my time at Powhatan has truly grown deeper with each passing year.¬† Thank you for your enthusiasm, energy, dedication, knowledge, intellect, and generosity.¬† Thank you for challenging class after class of eighth graders with the annual Shakespeare play – ¬†somehow my opening line in Much Ado About Nothing still sticks with me all of these years later.¬† Thank you for your service to us all.¬† And enjoy retirement – to say you’ve earned it is quite the understatement!

    -Marisa Swope Benforado
    Class of 1996

  32. Thank you so much for inviting Hill School’s 8th grade to see today’s performance! We feel honored to have been able to see Mr. Bell’s final production and witness this special Powhatan tradition. How thrilling to see Powhatan’s 8th grade take to the stage and to see how well they carried off the challenge of performing Shakespeare! Our 8th grade will keep this example in mind next week when they perform their own show. Thanks again for a great afternoon.

  33. One thing that always makes me think of you, Mr. Bell, and just how grateful I am that you were¬†my history teacher¬†in seventh grade, is the recordings I have of my great, great aunt¬†Rosie and of my grandfathers. If I remember correctly, we were to conduct interviews and write reports¬†on various wars and stages in American History throughout the year. I not only learned about the history of our country, but more so, the history of my family. My great, great aunt Rosie passed away the following year and one of my grandfathers passed away much later, when I was in college, but I will always have those recordings and stories they passed on to me…stories of how my family hid their silver in a cave in Kentucky during the civil war to keep it safe and how my grandfather worked in OakRidge Tennessee on the Atomic Bombs during WWII.¬†These irreplaceable recordings¬†I own to this day¬†because of you, Mr. Bell, and the wonderful ways you taught us not only history, and not only Shakespeare, but you taught us how to learn and how to LOVE learning. One of my favorite things about visiting Powhatan year after year, is seeing that big ole, genuine, smile. You will be missed!

    -Porter Schiavone Kobernik

    Class of 1998

  34. Mr. Bell,

    Thank you so much for all you have contributed to the Powhatan community. Your passion¬†will live on in the hearts of all the students and parents whose lives you’ve touched. You always made class fun and engaging, a great feat for a middle school teacher. On the day of your last Shakespeare play, I would just like to tell you that all your hard work is appreciated more than you will ever know. Thank you so much for being awesome.

    – Bridget

  35. I remember our Shakespeare play the year I graduated was “The Taming of the Shrew.” I remember playing Baptista and all the baby powder and the work Mr. Bell put into making sure I could walk like an old man. My favorite memories are of the spelling bee and how much time and effort he put into making sure I had that kind of opportunity. I know that’s rare in a teacher, and it’s only one of the reasons he’s such an amazing teacher and person. His love of learning is the highest I’ve ever seen in a person. Thank you for your many years of ¬†service to Powhatan and enjoy your retirement. While you will be sorely missed, it is well deserved. (Powhatan graduating class of 2013 I accidentally put my high school graduation in 2017 down)

  36. Greetings!

    “Brutus, my Lord! (what have you done?)”; “Perhaps someday it will be good to remember even these things”; “It was a long drive back from D.C.”…

    These are but a few memories I share often with my family now, memories that seem to have been made just yesterday in the place that is the most dear to me from childhood. I thank you for your part in all of them, and I hope you will never underestimate the profound influence you had on me and subsequently, the children I am raising. I wish you well!

  37. Mr. Bell,


    Thank you for everything you have done for me and for our little school in the Blue Ridge of Virginia. My brothers, sister and I all owe our appreciation of history and the performing arts to you. Your passion for both was never lacking. I’ll never forget the look on Emily’s face when you announced that our eighth grade play would be Romeo and Juliet. It was priceless.


    I wish you all the best in your retirement. I hope you get to go on some great trips or just sit back for some well deserved R&R.


    Take care,


  38. Mr. Bell,

    I have so many wonderful memories from Powhatan, many of which include you. ¬†7th Grade is a critical year for so many reasons. ¬†Looking back I greatly admire your patience. ¬†I’m sure it wasn’t always easy!

    The annual Shakespeare play is something that sets Powhatan apart from other schools.  Of course, Much Ado About Nothing will always be my favorite Shakespeare play!  It is a tribute to you as a teacher that you have been able to interest so many young students in Shakespeare.

    Thank you for sharing your love of history with us.  I remember the day you taught us about the portrait of Napolean with his hand in his waistcoat.  It was  fascinating.  Needless to say, you taught me so much.  Thank you.

    I hope you enjoy many happy, healthy years in retirement.  Cheers to you,

    Gretchen Byrd (Class of 1991)

  39. Mr. Bell,

    Thank you so much for enhancing my Powhatan career with our top-notch production of A Comedy of Errors in 2011. It was a very memorable play and I still remember the basic plot outline due to your incredible teaching. I hope your retirement is awesome. You will always be a Powhatan Legend.


  40. Mr. Bell,

    I can’t thank you enough for all of the great lessons you taught me at Powhatan. Just 2 years ago I was in your history class, taking notes, studying, writing, and trying my best. At the time, I wasn’t really sure why learning the history you taught was beneficial but now I do. History is the structure of today’s world. It answers the question of why the world is what it’s like today and what caused it to be the way it is. You definitely taught based on Powhatan’s motto of “We learn not for school but for life” and I hope you have the best retirement possible.

    – Max Thwing (class of 2014)

  41. Mr. Bell,

    Congratulations and good luck in the next phase of your life.

    I may not have always been the best behaved student but you can’t say I wasn’t entertaining. Thank you for putting up with class of ’05’s shenanigans and tomfoolery. You provided structure and assisted in the maturation process of so many people during a pivotal part of their lives.

    And for that we thank you!

    Best wishes,

    – Robert Galloway (class of 2005)


  42. Wow.. So many wonderful comments. You were such a huge influence on our lives. I’ve continued to coach children as a part of my career and the thing that strikes me most about being taught by you and coached by you was your tremendous passion and belief in our abilities. There is no greater gift than belief and with your great expectations and guidance we continually pushed the boundaries of possibility whether it was in the classroom diagram in sentences, on the field beating our own personal best or even the occasional practical jokes we played testing the boundaries of your awesome sense of humor. I know all of us were lucky to be taught and coached by you. I have always looked back at my time spent in your tutelage as some of my most influential and inspiring days! Thank you for all you have done for us and for Powhatan!!

  43. Hi Mr. Bell,

    My class gave you such a hard time. We tested you at every corner. You would get so mad or frustrated with us but still kept teaching us and didn’t hold it against us. I remember once you were so frustrated, you said ” you don’t want to see a red head get mad” your face was so red. We just giggled and settled down some. You were always cheering us on from the sidelines and getting us to try our best. You were up in the lighting booth for all of our performances with a smile. Always love seeing you, greeting me with a huge hug and a warm smile. Thank you for putting up with all of us!

    All the best, Mary (Mary Elizabeth)  Guest xxx

  44. Mr. Bell,

    Powhatan will not be Powhatan without you! Thank you for all the years of history lessons and Shakespeare plays. You simultaneously made me feel that anything was possible while reminding me to work hard to go get it. I’ll never forget all your encouragement as Juliet.¬†Thank you so much for being the teacher you are!




  45. Mr. Bell,

    There are too many memories that come to my mind where I need to say thanks!¬† It’s fitting for me that you end on “Comedy of Errors”, for that was the play our class performed.¬† While I only had a small part, what you allowed me to do, and how you believed in me for ensuring the play would run smoothly behind the scenes meant the world to me.¬† I can remember walking behind the curtains opening night and stopping dead in my tracks when I heard those wonderful words…….and they were about me.¬† It just seems like yesterday, not 27 years ago!¬† The way you believe in your students is a true testament to your character as a teacher and human being.¬† Good Luck in the future.

    Kirstin Black Garofalo, class of 1988

  46. Mr. Bell,

    Thank you for your dedication to the students of Powhatan! I have so many fond memories of my years there, including of course your history classes and Romeo and Juliet. I remember you once told us that our lines would stick with us forever after we memorized them and I can say that that is still true 12 years later! (I just tried and could make it all the way through the Prince’s opening¬†rebuke¬†of the feuding families – “Rebellious subjects! Enemies of peace! Profaners of this neighbor-stained steel!…”) I wish you all the best in your retirement, and I hope you know what a difference you made in all of our lives!

    Jeannette, Class of 2004

  47. Mr. Bell,

    It is hard to imagine a Powhatan without you. You have provided the tools necessary to succeed at any aspect of life to all of your students, through your unique teaching, directing, and overall influence. I can honestly say I have not enjoyed, learned, and retained as much information about history as I did in your 7th and 8th grade classes. Whenever I have brought up performing a Shakespeare play in 8th grade, people are shocked. Thank you for making that an experience I will never forget, and thank you for all you have done. You will be truly missed by Powhatan.

    Congratulations on a very successful career, and I wish you well in your retirement.

    All the best,

    Carter, Class of 2007

  48. Mr. Bell,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful two years during which I had the privilege to have you as a History teacher. Over the years I have learned many valuable skills from you for History and life. Your teaching and directing of the Shakespeare plays will be missed at Powhatan. While we are all sad to see you go, we hope that you can enjoy some relaxation and rest in retirement. Thanks for all the memories!
    P.S. Guido will always be remembered…
    -Caroline Lawson ’15

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