Ron Clone's hair used to be curly, but you couldn't tell that right now.
His head is shaved, a scar outlines a section of his skull that was removed and replaced, and he now walks with a cane. This spring, Clone, an Oak Creek resident, found out he had a tumor on his brain. After having surgery in August, doctors told him the tumor is benign and he’ll be out at least through Sept. 19.
Now, he's trying to recover so he can get back to teaching his fourth and fifth grade class at School.
But he’s not letting his recovery stand in the way of getting to know his class.
On Tuesday, Clone used Skype, a free web-based video chat program, to talk to his students, some of whom he has yet to teach. Some of them had Clone last year as a teacher when they were fourth-graders.
Students shared their names and one thing they liked to do. But one of his students, Noah Biedrzycki, came to visit him with his mother while Clone was in the hospital at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee.
“Seeing Noah pushed me a little bit,” Clone said. “You know, you spend eight and a-half months with these kids. A lot of them, the ones who knew me, are bummed that I’m not there.”
Kathy Wee, a substitute teacher, has been teaching Clone's class since the beginning of the school year. He talks to her daily to understand where she is at with the curriculum, which students may need more homework help, who has discipline issues and Clone tells her the simple nuances of how he wants the class managed, like where he wants the Kleenex boxes.
“I love seeing the growth in my kids,” he said. “As a teacher, you call them your kids. But I know they are only borrowed. Parents entrust you with their kids, and I take that seriously.”