NEW ALBANY — There are just certain teachers throughout the course of a school career who you never forget.
Alice Ranck Hettle was one of those teachers.
The former beloved Latin teacher, who taught at New Albany High School from 1952 to 1986, died Sunday in Clarkston, Mich. She was 96 years old.
Known as "Miss Alice" by many of her students, she was inducted into the New Albany High School Hall of Fame in 2008. She touched so many lives during her career at the school that a Fans of Alice Ranck Hettle Facebook page was created. There are currently 243 members of the page, and many have been leaving comments since learning of their former teacher's death.
"Sending so much LOVE to one of the most influential women in our lives," Stace Miles Mercier wrote. "The ripple effect from your passing through this world will be felt for generations. Mom and I were just reminiscing about you last week. We love you so much!"
Ranck Hettle was an Indiana Teacher of the Year finalist during her career and winner of the Excellence in Teaching Latin by the Classical Association. She was a Fulbright Scholar to the American Academy of the Classics in Rome.
"The ONLY thing that I regret about taking 3 years of Latin from you is that I didn't take 4," Frank Holz wrote on her fan page. "You taught us FAR more than how to conjugate verbs & proper declension. You are one of a kind and touched so many lives and your memories will live forever in the hearts of your students and even their families who never had the privilege and pleasure to have you as a teacher through our stories. God speed and enjoy all of the blessings that you have earned here with us."
Steve Prince is a former "Miss Alice" student who followed in her footsteps. He is the current Latin teacher at New Albany High School.
"Without a doubt, Alice Ranck loved Latin and knew so much about the language and ancient culture, and she was so skilled at imparting that knowledge to her students," he said. "She truly cared about us as individuals and made us want to be better students. However, what I’ll remember most about 'Miss Alice' is the respect she showed to each of her students, whether the student was in first year Latin or one of her beloved fourth-year students. We, in turn, showed her that same respect and I think that is why she had such a lasting effect on so many of her students."
Ranck Hettle is survived by five stepchildren. A memorial service will be held next spring in Indiana, according to her obituary. Lewis E. Wint & Son Funeral Home in Clarkston is in charge of arrangements.
Like Prince, many of Ranck Hettle's former students went into the teaching profession, which increased their admiration for her skill as an educator.
"Miss Ranck was the best teacher ever! I spent 40 years in public education, and knew all of the stuff that teachers dealt with," Suzanne Oakes wrote. "Without all of the technology and methods of the moment she demanded respect and got it. She was hands down the best teacher."