Information on our 2017 inductees:
Allan S. Barahal
The Longshoreman Teacher, SRHS Years of Service: 1960-1979
Allan Barahal was a history, government, humanities and philosophy teacher with the San Rafael City Schools for 21 years, 19 of which were at San Rafael High School, and two at Madrone. He is an example of an educator who successfully intertwined his life experiences with that of his teaching to give students a more enriched understanding of the world they would enter as adults. Allan’s daughter, Rachel, best describes her father as, “Engaging and charismatic, my dad brought his history, philosophy and humanities classes to life. His concern for every student’s future and his dedication to teaching made ‘Uncle Al’ one of San Rafael High’s most beloved teachers.”
Allan, born in 1920 in Toledo, Ohio, the first and only son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, grew up during the Great Depression in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Wayne State University, in 1940, with a BA in history and attended graduate school at Harvard University. WWII changed Allan’s plans! He joined the Merchant Marines and worked the ships form 1942-1945, sailing all over the world. After the war Allan met his wife, Anabel, in 1946. When entering a Detroit, Michigan hotel for a pre-arranged wedding celebration their witness, an African American, was denied admittance. They stormed out and as a result they led the way, along with the National Maritime Union, in picketing the restaurant non-stop until the restaurant finally gave in. This action led to the breaking of the color line at all hotels and restaurants in Detroit. Allan and Anabel later settled in San Francisco where Allan worked at Simons Mattress factory and joined the ILWU to become a Longshoreman and warehouseman on the San Francisco docks. In 1960 he left the docks and got his teaching credential from U.C. Berkeley. His life’s experience became an integral part of his teaching, and his many student followers remember his passion for helping others and standing up for what he believed was not right in the world. Allan has referred to himself as the, “The Longshoreman Teacher,” as this is how many of his students remember him. His lessons were alive with the passion and zest he has for life and helping others. One student described Allan as, “A rare teacher who opened his door to students, all students, not just those formally in his classes.” “His room felt like a safe place, a place for discussion, conversation, and a place to build the friendships so important during teenage years. His wit, his humor and also his wisdom shone for all of us.” He remains today as a very well respected and admired teacher.
Allan has two adult children, Jed and Rachel, who are graduates of San Rafael High School. He currently lives in Ukiah, CA with his wife, Anabel, of 71 years.
Teacher of English & Latin, SRHS Years of Service: 1962 – 1996
Ed Cunningham walked the halls of San Rafael High School for 34 years. While he mainly taught English at all grade levels and ability levels, other assignments included Latin, Physical Education, and Humanities/Philosophy. His commitment to students was at the core of all he did, and his legacy is respected to this day.
Ed graduated from Gonzaga University in 1959 with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in classics. He went on to receive his M.A. in English from Dominican in 1966. He was awarded an NDEA summer grant to study and design Advanced Placement (AP) English program, which he subsequently introduced into the district’s high school curriculum. Over the years, Ed’s desire to continue to expand his depth of knowledge in education led him to participate in several study and collaborative programs. This included: Spending a half-year sabbatical studying elective English programs in California and England; In the 1970s in collaboration with other teachers, including Allan Barahal, he helped to establish NEXUS, a school-within-a-school for juniors and seniors from San Rafael and Terra Linda High Schools; On a summer Fulbright he studied in Rome and Naples; And a National Endowment Award Grant took him back to London where he mainly studied Charles Dickens and the Illustrated Novel.
Ed was passionate about his teaching and working with his students to ensure they succeeded. One student struggling to deal with personal challenges at home, flunking English, and pretty much giving up, describes how Mr. Cunningham worked with her to pass his class. She states, “He gave me hope that I could climb back to a place of academic success in English and in general.” Thanks to his encouragement and support, this student went on to graduate from U.C. Berkeley and later earning an MBA and realizing her own company.
Ed was also actively involved, professionally, outside of the classroom. This included member of: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), The National Council of Teachers for English (NCTE), National Council of Teacher of English (CATE), the Central California Council of Teachers of English (CCCTE), and the Curriculum Commission that plans the annual Asilomar Conference for English teachers.
Since retiring Ed has worked for more than five years at San Quentin State Prison, and for seven years at St. Anselm Grammar School, teaching 7th & 8th Grade Religion. In 1999, he was ordained a deacon in the Catholic Church, and he presently serves at St. Anselm Church.
This August, Ed and his wife, Catherine, will have been married for 55 years. They continue to live in San Anselmo where they raised their two daughters, Teresa and Carol, and can now boast they have five grandchildren.
2017 honorees were Allan Barahal, The Longshoreman Teacher 1960-1979 and Ed Cunningham Teacher-English & Latin 1962-1996
2016 honorees were Beverley Tanem, Teacher and Volunteer 1971-Present and Tom Untermann, Alumni-Class of 1965, and Supporter 1965-Present
To nominate an individual include the following information:
Recognition “Hall of Honor” Nomination Form 2018
Name of Nominee: ____________________________________________________
Street Address: _______________________________________________________
Phone:_________________________ Email Address:________________________
Category: (Please check all that apply):
___ Alumni ___ Donor ___ Volunteer ___ Community
___ Staff ___ Coach (Athletics, Drama, Extra-Curricular Programs) ___ Other
Noteworthy contributions to San Rafael High From 19 _______to _______
On a separate piece of paper, please state the contributions this individual(s) has made to San Rafael High School that make them a candidate for this honor. Include contributions, impact on the school/program(s), time given, and what makes their specific contributions stand out. Include specific examples.
•* Criteria to consider:
* Have had a positive impact on students
* Improved the quality of San Rafael High School
* Contributed time & energy to the betterment of San Rafael High
* Are a positive reflection on San Rafael High
* Made a valuable contribution to society
Nominator: ____________________________ Date: _________
* Nomination letter must be typed in size 10 or larger font.
* No more than two pages.
* Additional letters are not necessary.
* All applications must be received by February 15, 2018.
* All nominations will be kept in our files for three years. We may request additional updated
* Incomplete or incorrectly submitted nominations will be returned.
* If you have any questions regarding the process please call event chair, Judy Colton at
(415) 317-7333 or email at email@example.com.
* This year’s Hall of Honor Induction ceremony will be in May, 2018 (date to be determined)
6:00 PM in the San Rafael High Hayes Theater.
* Mail completed nomination forms to:
San Rafael High Hall of Honor Committee
c/o Glenn Dennis, Principal
150 Third Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
San Rafael High School Alumni Association
150 Third Street
San Rafael, 94901
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