I  acknowledge the benefits these people afforded me in my education.  I was curious, but not always the most serious student.  Good teachers opened my mind and gave me the incentive to invest interest and time into my education.


Jil Evans Taliaferro

Jil was my painting instructor and mentor for my Senior Art Show in college at St. Olaf.  Since she has worked as my teacher she has continued to make art and has helped author a few books.  You can see her work at http://jilevanssite.com/


Years at University of Michigan :1943 - 1973
Literature, Science, and the Arts
| Geography |
Professor of Geography
Professor Emeritus

Mr. Crary was retired from U of M when he was my Geography teacher at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor where I attended 7-12.  Mr. Crary had traveled all over the world.  My favorite part of class was when he would show us his photos and slides of his travels.  He had studied the peoples of the world first hand and inspired countless students to continue to do so.  He was an amazing teacher.  He died in 2005, but lived a long and fruitful life. You can learn more about Professon Crary on the U of M faculty history page



Orelia S. Dann
Greenhills School
850 Greenhills Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
United States

Mrs. Dann recently retired from Greenhills in the Social Studies Department. She taught us about ancient civilizations and Asia.  The interest that she cultivated in her students continues as many of us have gone on to be life long learners aware of the world around us.  I attribute my interest in traveling abroad to Mrs. Dann.  It was in her class, that I decided that I wanted to travel to Asia someday.  Here is a picture with Mrs. Dann taken at a conference in Fall 2013 She has not changed since she taught me Ancient Studies in 1977! 


Jim Blow
Greenhills School
850 Greenhills Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

Mr. Blow taught us American History, Speech, and Government.  His classes were challenging, but his sense of humor gave us a reason to come to class.


Tom Friedlander
Greenhills School
850 Greenhills Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

Mr. Friedlander taught Science and Biology.  He also ran a cool club called “Outing Club” which sponsored student camping trips, hiking trips, and bog walks.  Learning about Biology was certainly more enjoyable when you had an understanding teacher to help answer questions.  Mr. Friedlander taught me how to listen to others by his example.  He really worked hard to understand our point of view.


Dr. James  M. May

St. Olaf College

Department of Classics since 1977

Dr. May was my college Latin Professor.  He was very energetic.  Here is an excerpt from his bio: 

“In his spare time May competes in handball, restores antique trucks, cars, and tractors, builds harpsichords, plays baroque instruments, chants (Gregorian-style), and sings in a Renaissance chamber choir. Besides having visited Greece more than 30 times, his greatest claim to fame is having been one of 170 rowers who powered the trireme Olympias, a replica of an ancient Greek warship, around the Aegean Sea in 1990.” 


Favorite Teachers

Mr. Thies uses this web site to organize information for Art.  Student specific information will be occasionally showcased on Mr. Thies’ CranNet pages.

 You may e-mail Mr. Thies at rthies@cranbrook.edu