The Return of Mr. Daeschner


Gabe Allegretto, Staff Writer

After over 50 years of teaching and filling in as a substitute teacher, Mr. Daeschner returned to Cathedral Prep after the consolidation to once again help out the students until the arrival of the new Spanish teacher.

When people picture Cathedral Prep, a few things may come to mind. At first, one would probably picture Saint Peter’s Cathedral. After that, maybe the lunchroom, the place where the whole school originated from. But when it comes down to the essence of Prep, it is the people that bring this place to life. There are a number of notable faculty members who many graduated students remember fondly: Mr. Achille and his bombastic enthusiasm for math, Mr. Markley and his kind, approachable demeanor, and undoubtedly, Mr Daeschner.

For those who have never met Mr. Daeschner, he was the German teacher at Prep for many years. He lived in Germany until he was 14 and moved to Erie with his family in 1959. Mr. Daeschner’s father had been talking about moving his family to America for quite some time, but finally did so after being convinced by his cousin. Upon moving to America, Mr. Daeschner and his family worked in a “German meat market” which they owned.

In regards to Mr. Daeschner’s education, he studied at Gannon University and completed his student teaching at Prep. From there, he began teaching in 1968, and went on to become the German teacher that everyone knows and loves. Over his 50-year teaching career, he taught German for 45.

After retiring from a very long career at the school, Mr. Daeschner came back as a substitute on many occasions to “stay connected with the students.” He also remarked that he didn’t play golf, so this kept him busy. All jokes aside, he made it abundantly clear through both his words and actions that he has a deep appreciation and love for both the school and the students within it.

However, over Mr. Daeschner’s long career, he had never had to teach any girls before. Subsequently, the news of the consolidation came as quite a shock to him, as he “wasn’t quite sure how they would be able to make Prep a coed institution.” After seeing and interacting in the newly merged classrooms, though, he quickly realized that it was a great, refreshing change.

When asked what has kept him at the school for such a long time, he said it was “the tradition and discipline.” He drew comparisons between Prep and European schools, which have a higher level of expectation from the students, such as nightly homework and listening thoroughly to the instructions of teachers. In his own experience, the people who come through Prep have chosen a more difficult path so that they might succeed in life. Some notable alumni that he has taught include Nick Ng, Mr. Ng’s son, and Aaron Wilkinson, who both are fluent in German and have won German scholarship awards from Gannon.

Mr. Daeschner has left an incredible imprint on the school over his many years of teaching the students. Although he is no longer a full-time teacher, many of the newest members of the Rambler family will probably see him at some point or another. Having said that, inquire about some of his experiences through the years. He will undoubtedly have something interesting to say.