John H. Schuler - Fallen Warrior
Class of 1968
Wilson Borough High School has had many great athletes who have (and will) grace its halls. One such hero seems to have been left out however.
Without naming him [yet], his biography would simply read that he was a distinguished graduate of the class of 1968. A class that was spawned in the ideological turmoil that almost ripped the country apart. He was at the top of a class that consisted of about 190 student. These student body numbers were about average for a mid-sized high school at that time.
He was a phenomenal student athlete from Williams Township, an area much more rural than it appears today. Academically he may be the most accomplished student to ever matriculate at our storied high school. He excelled in the sciences, particularly in the mathematics associated with the calculus (both derivative and integral). He also had an excellent grasp of chemistry, biology and physics as well.
The yearbook his senior year described him (in part) as being “quiet and well liked”. Rumor was that he scored a combined 1580 on his SATs, with a perfect 800 in the math section. He also scored at the top 5% of the percentile rankings in the SAT branch tests for physics and chemistry.
He was unanimously elected to the National Honor Societies for all the four years he matriculated at WHS. He was also a member of the Hi-Y club (which held the annual Faculty vs Students basketball game). His ancillary sports were Basketball and Baseball.
What sets him so apart was not only his fantastic mathematical aptitude and compassion for humanity but his ability to play the game of golf. No one that I recall EVER gave him the recognition that he was the high school DISTRICT 11 VARSITY GOLF CHAMPION for that spring. In simpler terms, he was the best high school golfer in the entire Lehigh Valley.
Think about this… A scholar athlete who ranked in the top 5 in his graduating class and was a District 11 Champion! The sad part is we (I) never gave him his just due for his accomplishments. We have no chair in Mathematics named in his honor, no scholarship or simple plaque to pay homage to one of the greatest, most accomplished - graduates Wilson has ever produced.
His name was John Schuler
I was lucky enough to room with John my freshman year at Penn. Even as a freshmen he was already being recognized by a venerated Chemical Engineering Faculty there. I spoke briefly about his intelligence; now to his humanitarianism (I know, I was one of the benefactors of that too).
I was matriculated at and, with John’s help, graduated from the business school arm of Penn called Wharton. My career path at the time also involved participating in the football program there, as well as scooping out ice cream in the Houston Hall dining service at lunchtime [which was my school job]. My academic difficulties began almost immediately and were constantly exacerbated by a splitting headache from the full contact drills and scrimmages almost every week night. Besides the curriculum, these were all placing an additional heavy burden on me.
When I confided to John that my confidence in my ability to carry the brutal academic load at Wharton and a continued participation in the football program had given me serious doubts of ever graduating; his “quiet and well liked” answer was to say simply “You gonna going to make it”. I still remember this like it was yesterday. It had the lasting impression akin to an intellectual lightning bolt. It wasn’t what he said but the confidence behind the way he said it.
The amazing part of this story was still to come for me, even though I didn’t know it at the time. John, on his own, had started a post-practice routine of reviewing the mathematics and statistics portion of the Wharton curriculum with me. He never criticized my inability at times to grasp the obtuse micro / macro-economic theory that were inherent in the course load. I remember on more than one occasion before these sessions, John and I would split a six of Colt 45 and I would naturally take an aspiring for what was left of my 24/7 full contact headache.
I’ve become verbose: Let me simplify; John was carrying Dean’s List academics in a brutal Chemical Engineering curriculum while at the same time absorbing and teaching me (albeit slightly damaged) the Wharton School’s freshman business calculus and statistical applications on his own! I am today as much a product of this tutelage as I am of the self-confidence he helped restore.
I’ll close with this simple statement: Not only was John’s character and mindset capable of embracing the load of TWO of Penn’s most difficult curriculums but; at the same time he enjoyed a full campus academic and social life (his girl was really beautiful). He was also amazingly intuit of the many business law case reviews we would discuss casually going to class.
If there is such a thing, John H. Schuler deserves the same academic and athletic respect at Wilson Borough High School as he’s probably gotten in heaven right now. Thanks
WHS 68, UofP Wh 72
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