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Greene’s Gallery: A Look Inside Greene’s Decorative Classroom

Greene’s hallway display case

Before 2003, Camas High School (CHS) stood where Liberty Middle School is currently established. Since then, CHS has settled into its new location north of LaCamas Lake, carrying its name, livelihood and thoughtful staff with it. One such teacher, Sam

Greene brings his unique experiences into decorating his classroom for all of his students.

Greene received his bachelor’s degree in English from Washington State University and followed up with a master’s in teaching. Since then, he has been teaching for nearly 26 years, all of which he spent in the Camas School District (CSD). Greene stated that he plans to continue teaching for about another decade.

“[Greene] is the teacher that helps me through my downs, brings joy to us on our field trips with his wacky jokes, and just lightens the classes he walks into,” CHS senior and current Knowledge Bowl competitor Nhan Truong said.

Greene poses with his “Mr. Greene” SoBe

Mr. Greene SoBe Bottle

Greene, who teaches World History, English and History of Rock N’ Roll, has accumulated various memorabilia to commemorate all of his years of teaching. He first began teaching eighth-grade English Language Arts in 1998, at Skyridge Middle School. That year, one of his students gave him a “Mr. Green” flavored SoBe bottle.

“I received it during my first year of teaching and I plan to drink it on the last day I teach,” Greene said.

Mr. Greene Scavenger Hunt

All around Greene’s room are small “Mr. Greene heads” in seemingly random places. From underneath a projector, within a cabinet and in the right pocket of a pair of jeans on the wall; “little Mr. Greenes” can be found everywhere.

The heads come from free yearbook photo samples that teachers receive every year. Mr. Greene believes that simply throwing the photos away would be a waste, so he lets his students plant them around his room.

Rockstar Oil Painting

Greene also has possessions connected to his History of Rock N’ Roll classes.

“You can definitely tell what classes he teaches,” CHS sophomore and AP World History student Kaylie Foster said.

Greene teaches one of the most unique classes offered at CHS, History of Rock N’ Roll. Greene’s love for the genre spawned from listening to radio channels when he was younger. The radio stations that Greene tuned in to most largely played what is now referred to as classic rock.

Student-made Jimi Hendrix portrait

“Back in the day, we didn’t have MP3 players or phones connected to Spotify, so everyone listened to the radio,” Greene said.

Greene’s History of Rock N’ Roll class celebrates icons that have appeared on these radio channels and changed the scene of rock around the world. One of these rock icons was Jimi Hendrix

Above the shelf showcasing the soda bottle, Greene displays an oil pastel painting of Jimi Hendrix, an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. In his first few years of teaching the class, Greene commissioned one of his students to create the vibrant portrait for $30.  

History of Rock N’ Roll was established shortly after 2004 when the principal of CHS at the time asked CSD’s staff for elective class suggestions. Greene had recently finished a History of Jazz class from WSU and hoped to teach a similar class incorporating a genre he felt more familiar with.

Initially, Greene’s new class attracted largely songwriters and musicians.

“The first year we had this class it was paired with a guitar class,” Greene said.

Now, it provides students with both a Fine Art credit and a 53-minute class period for creative expression.

Greene always strives to connect with students; creating a classroom full of the marks his students have left over the years is one of the many ways Greene aims to achieve this goal.

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Florence Liang, Staff Writer

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