College algebra can be a maddening experience for a high school student.
It's a good thing the kids at Western Hills have a mild-mannered teacher in Craig Fry to help crunch the numbers.
On this day, Fry is teaching a class the ins and outs of college algebra. The class is packed - almost 30 students, mostly seniors - scratching their heads at the concepts of discriminants and the quadratic formula.
Most seem to follow Fry's lead, however.
He stands at the chalkboard ready with example problems of the day. Students pull out their graphing calculators, hurrying to answer when Fry calls their name.
When students are struggling, he leads them in the right direction. When they've got it down pat, he applauds their comprehension.
"I try to stay positive and upbeat with them," Fry said of his students. "If they have struggled in the past, I try to praise and encourage them as much as is possible."
That's what Fry is all about. He never seems out of sorts, seldom raises his voice, and he tosses in jokes whenever the opportunity presents itself.
For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.