In Memory

Grace Miriam E. Kinner

Miss Kinner passed away in 1984.  Her final resting place is in Lakeview Cemetery located in Penn Yan, NY.

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03/08/12 10:31 AM #23    

Roxanne Rohles (Janson) (1981)

I have several memories of Grace Miriam Kinner, but the most important to me was the look of relief and joy on her face when she saw that one of her students was OK after hearing that he was not, and that, though she was a very difficult teacher, she graded on the material that she presented -- usually, "all" you had to do was study and learn everything that had been given to you, including the methods.  The most annoying teachers to me have always been the ones who expected you to guess what they were thinking.

I did not like some of her methods of trying to get kids to try harder, though.  I was reminded of her about 10 years later when I worked with a man from Japan who was truly the best in the world in his field (actually, in a few fields - amazing).  He was very hard In his dealings with a brilliant younger, American-raised man.  The younger man confided to me that "he hates me and I'm not going to put up with this abuse anymore".  Earlier, the older Japanese man had confided to me that the younger one showed the most promise of anyone he'd ever met and "could one day do great things", but "no matter how much I yell at him and tell him what he's doing wrong, he doesn't seem to appreciate it and try harder".  I had a flashback to Ms. Kinner, and I wonder if she was using a little bit of the same methods.  (Of course, I tried to help the two men understand each other better, and suggested other ways of inspiring, but in that case, I was unsuccessful.  They simply could not believe that each other could act that way and care as much as they did.)

Still, we learned a great deal from Ms. Kinner, including that a high level of performance is what is expected and should be the norm.  No matter that some teachers might let you get away with mediocrity, in Ms. Kinner's class, "Do your best" really meant your BEST.  It meant "Do it perfectly.  I know you can, even if you don't think you can, so no excuses.  Don't waste our time or yours with half-hearted attempts.  Be great at what you do."  That approach has served me well over the years.  Maybe Nike (Just Do It) learned from her.

03/05/13 03:43 PM #24    

Barbara Lloyd (Menlen) (1961)

I never had her as a teacher.  By the time I got to Zama I had finished the classes she taught, but she took note eof our family because we came to Zama from Detroit Michigan, her home town.  My freshman year in college (Seishin Joshi Daigakuin in Tokyo) I ended up in the hospital in Sagami Ono at the same time she was there for something.  She had the nurse bring me a can of her private stash of Vernor's  Ginger Ale, a product that could only be purchased in Detroit at the time.  It was the most marvelous treat!!

04/14/14 11:21 AM #25    

Joe Sausnock (1977)

I had Ms. Kinner for advanced biology my senior year b/c I thought I was going to become a marine biologist so I could scuba dive for a living.  At any rate, I transferred to Zama my senior year and after a few weeks she suggested I re-take regular biology b/c I needed a better foundation.  There was no debating or discussing this move.  I was so motivated to prove her wrong that I aced her class and in the meantime, found out what a truly caring and deeply personal teacher she was.  She was by far my favorite teacher at ZHS and I will always have fond memories of her both in and out of school.  She loved teaching and pushed her students harder than any of the other teachers b/c her life was all about being a techer.  RIP Grace Miriam will always be remembered for making a difference.

04/15/14 06:17 AM #26    

Diana Childers (Rodgers) (1974)

Miss Kinner is the only teacher I remember from ZHS.  She was tough but enjoyed teaching so much.  I remember dissecting worms and frogs.  Yuck!

06/30/15 10:09 PM #27    

Dave Gillespie (1964)

I am deeply grateful to Grace Miriam Ella Kinner.  In '60-'61 as a freshman I took her biology class.  I learned much from the class.  But I also became interested in taking photos through a microscope outside of class and she greatly encouraged that effort.  Simple microscope and a brownie box camera to start, but I took some great photos.  For that effort she created The Grace A Kinner Memorial Biology award which I was the first recipient.  Biology did not become the center of my life.  But the lesson that when you put your heart into something you can do great things has helped me all my life.  You can find Miss Kinner's photo as a teacher in every yearbook from 1959 to 1980.  What a span of service to so many people.  The 1964 yearbook was dedicated to her.  I have posted all these yearbook photos and some college yearbook photos I have found in  Go there, sign up for a free account, and search for person  LK3B-KH4

Thank you Miss Kinner.

09/03/15 11:25 PM #28    

James Hazelrigs (1966)

Grace Kinner was the ultimate educator.  She was not necessarily warm to her students, but she always held them to tasks for the expectations she layed out in the beginning of each class.  I learnd so very much from her.   Few knew that she was a personal friend of Emporer Hirohito.  They both shared a love of the study of aquatic creatures.  WE saw several pictures of them together in the inland sea; two very contented looking folks.  We all bitched and moan about her and what she made us do...all the time.  BUT only after I passed her class did I realize that she was totally brilliant  in her teaching, and caused us to learn things we would normally have rejected,  GOD truly blessed us so that we could have her in our lives.  What a gal !!!

07/25/19 09:12 PM #29    

Glen Lincoln (1967)

Wow, did she give me a gift of acomplishment.



01/18/20 04:55 AM #30    

Ann Cuccia (Flanders) (1966)

I do remember taking Biology from her and I remember dissecting the poor frog.


One special memory that I have of her - We had to do a bug collection.  One day - on the weekend - I was walking down the street from Col. Flanagan's house to catch the bus to go back to Sagami hara and up against the curb there was this interesting bug.  I picked it up and dashed to one of the doors at the High School and started banging on it - because somehow  we had all been told that she spent a lot of time at the Hgh School, even on weekends.  She came to the door and let me in and we walked back to the classroom.  She examined the bug and killed it for me and pinned it so I could take it home to put in the bug box that all of us in her class were required to create.


Funny what one remembers from one's youth.  How many people would remember that kind of kindness. 


Blessings to you.




11/14/21 12:51 PM #31    

Michelle Walter (Baker) (1964)

Ms Kinner was the best teacher I had in all of my years of schooling.  She truly did make her students believe in themselves and draw from each one an element of greatness.  I wish she was still around so I could say thank you for all she gave.


10/04/22 10:44 PM #32    

Linda Perry (O'Connor) (1977)

RIP Ms. Kinner.  You warned against my taking your Biology class as a freshman.  But I was determined to prove you wrong. I passed it just fine.  You pushed us hard.  I, too, still remember ..."Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. " all these years later!  And the black cardboard divider screens for privacy/no cheating during exams.  And that little dog, too!  I loved hands on learning.  I still have the frog's skin that I dissected.. pressed into a photo album somewhere.  Lol.  Thank you for your dedication to education and science.  God bless.


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