Throughout his life, Dave Carroll has always been interested in numbers and statistics, which makes it fitting that he taught Math for 35 years. During his career, Carrol answered a countless amount of questions, but ‘Who’s on First,’ continued to leave him in doubt. While Carroll fights cancer, he is first in the mind of his former students and fellow teachers.
From 1971 to 2006, Carroll taught trigonometry, algebra and geometry at Tippecanoe High School. His quick wit helped make Carroll popular amongst the students. “Even though I was terrible in Math I always looked forward to going to his class. His dry sense of humor and one-word answers had the class in stitches pretty much daily,” said Todd Varvel, former student.
Carroll is widely remembered for his rendition of the Abbott & Costello routine of ‘Who’s on First,’ for which he would do both parts. The result would be an entire classroom filled with laughter. His sense of humor was also appreciated by his fellow teachers. “He was well known for his story of the first time he tried paintball. Hilarious,” said Elaine Judy, a fellow former teacher. “He kind of hid out in his office upstairs at the old high school, and you had to take the time to seek him out. It was worth it.”
‘Who’s on First,’ allowed Carroll to involve his love for baseball with teaching. Born in Toledo, Carroll is a diehard fan of the Detroit Tigers and the Toledo Mud Hens. Along with friend and former teaching colleague, Joe Bellas, Carroll has been on a quest since 1998 to visit every major league ballpark. They have made it to every ballpark east of the Mississippi River, except for Atlanta, and several west of the Mississippi. His favorites are Pittsburgh’s PNC, Camden Yards in Baltimore and Comerica Field in Detroit.
In addition to teaching, Carroll coached Cross Country for several years, running with the team or riding his bike to keep an eye on them during practice. He was also the head timer for the track team, which put him in charge of making sure all the timers worked for the track meets. “He was known to trick some of the other women teachers into working the meets by telling them the job was a piece of cake. All you had to do was stand in the sunshine, use a stop watch, and have fun. He certainly didn’t tell them that it would be freezing cold and so windy most of the time. Also, along with the stop watch you had to pick which runner came in second, third, and fourth etc.” said Judy.
He was also the clock operator at the high school basketball games for several years and introduced dozens of students to joys of playing Chess as the coach and the Commissioner for the Miami Valley Chess Confederation. One such student was Jessica Marcantonio (Kemp) who credits him with all of her chess playing skills. “He was such an awesome teacher and so funny,” she said. “I used to get detention for talking in his class and had to stay after school for it. During that time, he would coach the chess team so one of my girlfriends and I decided to join the team.”
A major movie buff, Carroll has a collection of over 1,000 films. His favorites are from the 1950’s and 60’s. He also has a vast collection of Classic TV shows. Carroll also loves animals and has donated generously to ASPCA and the Humane Society.
It’s for his work in the classroom that Carroll is remembered most for. “I had Mr. Carroll for two out the four years in high school for some sort of Math class, but Geometry is what stands out the most for me. It is the one Math class I ever took that I still use what I learned on a daily basis,” said Toby Suerdieck, a 1990 graduate. “He was a teacher dedicated to teaching, which made me want to learn. So I definitely would say he was one of the best teachers I ever had.”
The impressions he left upon his students are everlasting and goes beyond the subject of Math. “If I were to choose one word to describe Mr. Carroll it would have to be ‘Unforgettable.’ I love that guy,” said Varvel.
For the question ‘Who’s on First,’ statistically speaking, in reference to the minds of former students and how their former teachers are ranked in greatness, the answer is Mr. Carroll. They all send their best wishes to him in his fight against cancer.