William Powell
(in memory)



William Powell (Bill) was my high school English teacher and headmaster at the International School of Tanganyika, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The above photo of Bill (right) and me (left) was taken during my graduation ceremony (the man in the middle is Mr. Tanna, a school board member, if memory serves me correctly). After I graduated, Bill and I kept in touch as we each moved to different countries/continents.


* This is what I wrote about Bill in my original, unabridged (and out-of-print) book about my father titled "Satyam: Notes and Letters from My Father, My Hero, My Friend", first published in 2009 (click here to see excerpts from my book):
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My heartfelt gratitude and appreciation go to my high school English teachers, now my friends, Jan Archer and William Powell (who was also headmaster at the time) at the International School of Tanganyika, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Thank you for inspiring the inextinguishable love of language and literature in me, and for your excellent guidance and mentoring on both academic and personal levels during the course of teaching.
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* This is what I wrote about Bill's work in my letter to President Obama regarding the quality of education in 2014 (click here to read my complete letter):
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        The book, "Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Teacher" by William Powell and Ochan Kusuma-Powell is a wonderful guide for teachers (and parents), written by authors who are endorsed by the Office of Overseas Schools at the US State Department for their work in teacher professional development. The main premise of this book is that "teachers who develop their emotional awareness and interpersonal skills are better able to manage their classrooms and promote student success". Perhaps this book could be made available at every school in the nation as a handbook for teachers and other administrative staff. The authors also strongly advocate personalized learning and inclusive schools for all types of students, including ones with special needs, and their non-profit organization, "The Next Frontier: Inclusion" is dedicated to this mission.
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* This is what I wrote about Bill on social media in 2016 soon after hearing the news of his death (note: the author Kharidehal Venkata Rao originally requested only Bill to write the foreword, but for some unnecessary reason, Bill later asked me to add to the foreword as well):
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Two years ago, my former high school English teacher and good friend, (late) William Powell (Bill) and I co-wrote the Foreword to an ethnic masterpiece titled "Crown of Light" by my late father's close friend in India, Kharidehal Venkata Rao, who is in his 80s. The book is a collection of short stories translated from my native language, Telugu. The author requested me to copy-edit his book, but due to the highly unusual sentence structure and grammar, I was unsure how to do it justice. Following all the rules of the English language diluted the spirit and poetic cadence of the native language, as I discovered after copy-editing the first story, whereas retaining the original unusual diction made the writing appear grossly technically flawed. I wrote to Bill and Jan Archer (my other high school English teacher) asking them for advice, and Bill suggested that I break all the rules, saying that he would "gladly sacrifice correct English grammar and syntax in order to capture the distinctive voice of an ethnic group". I followed his bold advice, and the book turned out beautifully. Jan was away on a cruise in the Antarctic at the time, and upon her return, agreed wholeheartedly with Bill, but by that time, the project was already well under way per Bill's advice. Not only did Bill read the entire manuscript in the midst of his worldwide travels and workshops, but he also wrote his dazzling portion of the foreword (per the request of the author, who was someone Bill never even knew or met), all in the span of a few weeks. When the book was ready for publication, I thanked Bill for all of his wonderful and generous help, said I didn't know how he did it so fast in the midst of his tremendously busy work schedule, and told him that he was "phenomenal" – a word which I believe sums up the heart and soul of William Powell.
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William Powell, the way I remember him ... as my high school English teacher:  

   ... and later, as an infrequent but friendly and helpful correspondent:







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