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Cameron Tessier

Cameron Tessier

Cameron Tessier taught math at the Senior High School for 22 years, starting in 1964 and retiring in 1986. During that time, thousands of students benefited from her tough but fair teaching style.  “I loved South High,” she said recently. “The people were great.”

Born on March 11, 1920 in the Bronx, Mrs. Tessier’s family moved to Chestertown when she was two years old. She graduated from high school in Pottersville (Chester) in 1937.

“I’m most proud of taking over a paper route for the Glens Falls Times when I was 12 or 13,” she said. “I was flattered by it. And there weren’t many girls doing that back then.”

She also remembers selling popcorn at the old Chester Theatre for five cents a bag. Her commission? “A penny a bag,” she remembered.

From there, she went to St. Lawrence University, where she was inducted into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national honor society for mathematics. She also earned her master’s degree at St. Lawrence.

Her teaching career began in 1941 in Pottersville. She taught there for three years before moving to Lake Placid. She taught in several other districts before coming to South High in 1964.

South High Bulldog Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Bill Steffen said this of her. “Mrs. Tessier was a great teacher and influence. She made me understand that demanding could be a good thing. Much of the influence Mrs. Tessier had on kids would not rise until later in their lives. I, and many others, owe her a lot.”

Another former student, Kyle Lapierre, said, “Mrs. Tessier was one of the best teachers we ever had. She handled me and my buddies and made sure we understood math. I can still remember the announcements each afternoon to see if you had to report to Room 45 after school. What a great and dedicated teacher. I see so many people today without math skills … Thank you Mrs. T for saving us from their fate.”

And Bulldog Pride Hall of Fame inductee Rich Johns said, “Mrs. Tessier was my ninth grade Algebra teacher. She was the teacher that everyone ‘feared’ a bit, but knew that her expectations simply made you work harder in her class. She guided so many of us to work as hard as possible. I did achieve in her class. I knew that she believed in me. Her tough love was something I never forget. She was also the only high school teacher who came to watch me play tennis at most home matches.”

She has three daughters: Rachelle, Margaret and Natalie, and one grandchild, Elihu.