Phil Renold, Lathrop High School exchange teacher in 1978-79, recently passed away, according to Don Gray, his exchange partner. Both were participants in the Fulbright Exchange Program between American and British teachers.
Phil was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, in 1949. He grew up in England, and attended Gordonstoun School where he was instilled with a strong sense of public service. There he knew Prince Charles, and during the 40 years he taught in England, led his students in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program.
He obtained degrees in politics, contemporary history and economics, and outdoor pursuits at Coventry and Bangor Universities. A mountaineer, he climbed peaks in Great Britain and Europe before coming to Alaska. During his time here, he successfully climbed Mount McKinley.
He found differences between the Alaska outdoor life and that of the U.K. He was amazed by an outboard engine attached to a canoe while on a float trip down the Upper Chena to Nordale Road. American customs, like our celebration of Halloween, also surprised him greatly. He told stories of life at -40 degrees when in England, and how a cup of boiling water tossed in the air froze before reaching the ground.
Phil returned to Saddleworth School in Uppermill, Lancashire, England, returning to Fairbanks in 1981, to marry his English sweetheart, Rosie, and visit his Fairbanks friends. Rosie and Phil had two sons, John-Michael, now a math teacher, and Will, now an aeronautical engineer. Earlier, Rosie and Phil acted as foster parents to troubled youths in the Saddleworth district.
Phil then taught at Frankfurt International School and, after several years in Saddleworth School, at Batley Grammar School, where, besides politics and economics, he also taught business studies, geography, IT and religious education. He became a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy to help the DOE program.
Last year, Phil ran as a Liberal Democrat in the Oldham Council election and served on the Saddleworth Parish Council.
Condolences can be sent to Rosie Renold, 80 Wall Hill Road, Dobcross Nr. Oldham, OL3-5BH, England, U.K.