NAME: Bill Gulde
TITLE: Educator FOR: North Central High School
SINCE? 1987
ORIGINALLY FROM? Rushville, Indiana
YOUR JOB DUTIES INCLUDE? I am an academic coordinator and history teacher.
PROJECT/S YOU ARE MOST PROUD TO HAVE BEEN PART OF? In 2004, I completed Hopes, Dreams and Books: The Story of North Central High School and in 2010, I published Irvington in 1910: A Year in the Life of an Indianapolis Neighborhood.
OTHER PROJECTS WE MIGHT RECOGNIZE? I run a blog called Vintage Irvington. I have posted hundreds of historic photos of the neighborhood on the site. My goal is to create a “cloud” of historical documentation for my wonderful community.
WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? I love working with young people and I try to inspire them to love or at least appreciate history. It is an exceptionally rewarding job. I could not have asked for a better career.
WORST PART OF WHAT YOU DO? Watching politicians attempt to dismantle the public school systems and reduce everything to mind-numbing testing.
HOW YOU DEFINE PERSONAL SUCCESS? I try to help students find their path in life and hopefully show them new avenues. When students are still talking after class about a simulation or debate then you know they are thinking.
ADVICE TO SOMEONE ELSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO DO WHAT YOU DO? Take as many or more history courses as you can so you will have the content knowledge you will need for your students.
IF YOU WERE GRANTED ONE WISH RELATING TO YOUR JOB/ORGANIZATION, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would like to see a true revolution in education where we recognize and celebrate that there are multiple ways in which a child learns. While my school district has thankfully turned to more inquiry-based learning, many others are sliding into scripted teaching where creativity is not encouraged.
WOULDN’T HAVE MADE IT TO WHERE YOU ARE WITHOUT? I grew up in a house filled with books. There is no question that my parents, Bill and Karmen Gulde, put me on the right path. I also had series of mentors along the way who adopted me and showed me “the path.”
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? I have a passion for history. I live in a historic neighborhood in and an Arts and Crafts era house. I run a history blog and I teach history. Can you tell I LOVE the study of history?
WHO WERE/ARE YOUR MENTORS AND HOW DID THEY HELP? There are so many. I had a wonderful teacher in high school named Al Hodge. He encouraged my love of history. I had several outstanding college professors who guided me including Dr. James Divita, Sister Stella Gampfer, Dr. Elizabeth Monroe, and Dr. Ralph Gray. I have had many other mentors in my life including Glory June Greiff, Terry Stuart, Paul Brown, William Jensen, Susan Gulde, and Elizabeth Curtis. I would not be where I am today without the support of these talented professors, historians, and educators.
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN HISTORY? When I was a kid, various community members in Rush County hosted weekend or week-long camps for students. They were always held in the small village of Homer. The boys slept in some abandoned train cars and the girls in the basement of the Homer Federated Church. I attended every camp I could including one in drama, speech, photography, art, creative writing, and HISTORY. You could go every year. I marvel at these camps today because it was all volunteer and top quality. In the history camps, I did gravestone rubbings, hunted for projectile points, and observed historic architecture. Those folks back in Homer really sparked a fire in me.
MOST INTERESTING BIT OF INDIANAPOLIS HISTORY YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED? It happened recently when I walked to my front yard to pick up a rake. A vehicle pulled up near my home and a woman inside the car asked me if lived in the house? She then proceeded to tell me the story of her grandmother who taught music in my home in 1920. She actually had a photo with her of my house in 1920. You can imagine my delight and fascination with her story. History came calling to me that day….
YOU CAN HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE FROM INDIANAPOLIS PAST? WHO & WHY? I would like to meet Calvin Fletcher. I have read large parts of his immense diary of life in early Indianapolis. I would love to hear his observations of life in the village in those days. I would also like to give him a tour of the city today. It would be a fascinating dinner!
YOUR CAREER IN AN ALTERNATE LIFE? I would be an artist living somewhere near Paris.
ANY INTERESTING FAMILY CONNECTIONS TO INDIANAPOLIS PAST? Not many although I had a great uncle named Carl Gulde, who ran a barber school in the 1930s on West Washington Street near where the zoo is today. My Aunt Josephine Gulde Weidner lived briefly in an apartment building in the 1900 block of North Illinois during the 1940s. My father, a small town kid, used to visit and he marveled at all of the traffic and the sirens!
FAVORITE VIEW IN THE CITY? Every autumn, I drive to the peak at Crown Hill Cemetery and gaze over the city. It is so lovely and peaceful there.
FAVORITE CITY BESIDES INDIANAPOLIS? I find Cincinnati’s historic architecture fascinating. The city is so much older than Indy and the hills make it a beautiful place along the river.

FAVORITE HISTORY RELATED BOOK OR MOVIE? I loved Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I hope my classes, books, and my blog are as engaging. I recently traveled with my good friends Don and Grace Kite to Illinois just to hear her speak.
ULTIMATE BEVERAGE? Iced Soy Chai at Henry’s Café on East Street
COLLECT ANYTHING? I collect historic postcards of both Indianapolis and of my hometown of Rushville.
FAVORITE QUOTE? “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats
IF YOUR LIFE HAD A THEME SONG, IT’D BE? It’s a Beautiful Day by U2

One response to “Heritage Steward: Bill Gulde”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Let’s stay with this history “hero” as well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *