Once a teacher, always a teacher. After 40 years of working in public schools, Tom Henry still finds himself in the classroom. And he loves it.
“Being an instructor for Oasis allows me to take part in all the best parts about teaching,” he says. “The classes are great because there are no tests, no one looking over my shoulder to tell me how to teach and the people who are there want to be there.”
Tom’s tenure at Upstate Oasis in Syracuse, NY, started in 2007, when he was invited to teach classes for a national program on immigration. It didn’t take long to get hooked.
“When I got there to teach the course, I found fun, enthusiastic people to teach,” he says. He’s been teaching at Oasis ever since, having offered a wide variety of courses, primarily related to history. His classes about the Civil War, Native American history, the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution are popular, but he’s always game for new ideas.
“As people suggest things, I teach them. We just finished a class to recognize the 75th anniversary of World War II,” Tom says.
Tom travels a lot, and shares photos and stories about his adventures in a popular “Travels with Tom” series. Those who attend have enjoyed front row seats to some amazing places: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, German and Italy to name a few. There is no fee to listen in, only a donation to help raise money for Oasis. Tom also serves as Chair of the Education Committee for Upstate Oasis, as well as on the advisory council.
In addition to volunteering, Tom is a committed donor.
“If we’re going to give good service, then we need the financial means to be able to do that,” he says. “One of the joys of giving is to be able to give back to an organization that I think is doing important work. Oasis provides an avenue for older adults to keep learning in a friendly environment. It is an important part of who I am.”
There are a number of ways to give to Oasis.
Tom is featured in the 2016 Oasis Annual Report.