About the Colony

Ideal Atascaderan Ruth ‘Teach’ Doser will be missed

Atascadero’s favorite teacher passed away a week ago today at the age of 95.

Ruth “Teach” Doser taught at Atascadero High School for many years. In fact, last year at the annual Quota Club Colony Days Tea, I asked for a showing of hands on how many in that room of about 100 guests had Teach Doser for a teacher. A majority of hands went up.

She taught and mentored so many young people that everyone has a Teach Doser story. I remember an early pioneer telling a story of when a group from the high school went to San Francisco to see a play. He said Teach Doser was such a horrible driver that he ended up driving the car.

In a photo of one of the “snow days” at the high school in the 1950s, you’ll find one of the people winding up to throw a snowball is none other than Teach Doser.

She started at the high school in 1939. She taught a variety of subjects including French, Spanish, English, drama and physical education, where she became a champion of female athletes at Atascadero High. She was dean of girls, started the American Field Service program up on the hill, was adviser to the Girls Athletic Association and coached the first girls basketball team.

I first encountered Teach when I arrived at Atascadero High School in 1966 as a really green English teacher. Teach was one of the first to make me feel welcome to the faculty and to the profession. She always offered sound advice and compassionate friendship as I navigated the delicate field of teaching English freshmen.

Her sister, Lois Freydl, also worked at the high school. In fact, she was a dorm mom for a few years in the 1950s, living in the girls dorm on campus. Atascadero Unified was one of only two or three school districts in California with an on-campus dorm until the 1980s.

The sisters, who grew up in Garden Farms, served as Colony Days Royalty in 1992. Lois passed away a few years ago.

Teach was not only a pioneer teacher in this community but active in her church, singing in the choir for so many years. A girls basketball tournament bears her name today. She retired in 1977.

I believe Teach Doser was the epitome of what our founder, E.G. Lewis, wrote in his oft-quoted piece, “The Ideal Atascaderan.” Lewis wrote, in part, that the Ideal Atascaderan “ never seeks to tear down the good work of others, but helps them remedy its defects, who has no words of malice and enmity for others,” and, “if he cannot himself design and conceive the structure, helps at least to pass up the mortar and the bricks to build.”

Concluded Lewis: “We may not be able to achieve this ideal ourselves, but in our boys and girls we can lay the foundations by our own examples that will enable them to achieve it in fullness.”

I know Lewis and Teach never met, but I know he was writing about her.

Reach Lon Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.