Our close knit community is deeply saddened by the news that Bill Wallace passed away in early June. Bill's presence and sense of humor will be greatly missed. The 2017 yearbook was dedicated to Bill. The tributes from students and Faculty on Bill's decades of teaching honor his inspiration and humor.
William Wallace - Salute to 38 Years of Service
King was Bill's second home from 1977-2016. He taught at the King School before the merger, moved to Hamden Hall in 1988 for one year and then found his way back again to his favorite place in September of 1989. All three of his children graduated from the School, and he delighted in their strengths, and did his best to give them their space in the building.
Bill had high standards and many students quickly learned that it paid off to get to class on time unless they wanted a little workout of pushups. He was never too busy to provide extra help and found great pleasure in helping students learn.
Bill always had a ready supply of humor to share. One of his many loves was softball and you could always find him in the bleachers cheering on the team. To his colleagues and his students, he embodied the four virtues of King: Integrity, Kindness, Perseverance, and Respect. Thank you to Bill for his dedication and service to King. His presence is missed everyday.
Students and Faculty share their memories and tributes:
"I had Mr. Wallace for two out of my four years of math at King. We were always the first people to come in the door each morning. As a freshman, I struggled with math and Mr. Wallace was there to guide me through problem sets and once in awhile laugh with me over his corny jokes. As someone who has been teaching at King for so long, his unique personality and passion for math never faded. He was one of the first teachers that I connected with during my time at King and he was my friend before most of my classmates were. His focus as a teacher and kindness as a friend, made my experience as a new King student easy. I wish him well and I hope that others are able to bond with their teachers as I did with Mr. Wallace."
- Jack Kane '17
"Even though I never had Mr. Wallace as my teacher, he was always there for extra help and would always say hello to me in the hall."
- Cameron Reiss '17
"I was a freshman in his 11th grade Math class. ... Mr. Wallace made everything fun. He knew how to make a future English major like me feel comfortable. If I didn't understand a concept, he explained it. He spent his free time with me when he could to make sure I understood what was going on in class and didn't fall behind. ... Most of all, he was kind. ... He expected your best effort, to be sure, because he always brought his. That was enough for us, and clearly it was enough for 39 years of students who benefited from his presence and good nature. ..."
- Melissa Ginsburg '97
"... I can definitely say that Mr Wallace was my favourite [teacher]. My twenty year career as a systems engineering specialist has been guided by what I learned with Mr Wallace. While none of the mathematics I use exceeds what we covered in MAT500, the simple fact is that the methodical, systematic approach that I've consistently applied was learned under his instruction. Whether we are developing the analytics used for system optimization, calculating metrics for trading performance issues, or just handling routine capacity planning, the guiding principles I picked up during our time have been invaluable tools that have enriched my work. The intellectual curiosity and desire to understand both theory and practice are what have allowed me to succeed in a complex and competitive field. ..."
- Carl D. Speare '96
"I've been fortunate to know Mr Wallace as a student, player (basketball), and alum. ... He had arguably one of the first computers in his homeroom and class. It was a big, tall thing. And he had this sign on it to remind the students not to touch it."
- Doug McDermott '83
"The Dance of Mathematics: One my favorite memories of Bill Wallace was his humor and willingness to impart the joy of mathematics. As I taught Honors Geometry, next door to his classroom, I would reach a particular moment in describing advanced equations. Then, I would ask Bill to come in and show his dance to help the students remember the graphed shape of the different equations. He would twist his hips and move his arms as he illustrated each equation. It was so much fun."
- Bill Pusack, Former Mathematics Faculty
"Bill Wallace is a wonderful person, teacher, and mentor. When he interviewed me eighteen years ago for a position as math teacher, there was no mentor-mentee program, but Mr. Wallace became a great mentor to me! Mr. Wallace's jokes made students feel at ease in his class. He had great relationships with students and advisees; he was friendly, funny, and cheerful! Our Math department and students surely will miss his humor and expertise!"
- Victoria Khiznichenko, Chair of Mathematics Department