Students throw surprise party for teacher of the year

Sam Holthe returns to his classroom to see a party set up in the few minutes that he was gone

Andrew Riley, Reporter

On May 20, 1967, math teacher Sam Holthe was born. On Friday, May 19, 2017, students took it upon themselves to throw him a surprise 50th birthday party in his class room during lunch. Holthe loves to use many puns throughout his classes, these puns giving some inspiration for some of the gifts given to him, one such pun being that only 239 beans can be in one place at any given time because one more would make it “too farty.” Students from all of his classes came together to give him a jar of exactly 239 beans, along with a clock modeled after the unit circle he uses in many of his classes.

His students also used some of the math that they learned to design his cake. The cake said “Happy 100sin 𝜋/6th Birthday Holthe,” calculating out to exactly 50. All in all, about 22 students came to his surprise party after almost two months of planning it. They organized a distraction to get him out of his room and swarmed his room to decorate it with balloons and streamers before he returned. Holthe was pleased with the surprise, and his students wished him many more happy birthdays.

Juniors Addie Watkins, Tyler Polk, Coby Kirkland, and Emma Banks greet Holthe with a sign made for his surprise birthday party.
Students had the cake decorated with a math pun to signify his 50th birthday.
Holthe eagerly unboxes the gift his students got for him.
The gift ended up being a unit circle clock. Juniors Mackenzie Cook and Emma Banks found the clock on Amazon. To afford the clock, they collected money from other classmates. The two thought it would make a great addition to Holthe’s classroom. Holthe was very appreciative and hung it up before the following Monday.