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Thanks to the 'Bear Man'

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Regarding Bob Frye's Outdoors column “Bear man heads off to retirement” : When I met Joe Stefko — the bear man — I did not know he was the Pennsylvania Game Commission's first wildlife education supervisor.

I was one of the folks Stefko influenced through his programs. He helped me obtain visual aids about waterfowl and other state wildlife and added to these a few “Wildlife Notes.” These items, plus some great “Game News” covers and taxidermy specimens from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History provided information for a “wildlife illustrator” unit in my elementary art room.

Through these visual aids and his spark of an idea, Joe has influenced at least 1,800 elementary art students in my classroom over the past decade or so. Any New Kensington-Arnold School District student who's drawn a duck or goose for the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition has Joe Stefko to thank.

Many thanks to Stefko for the inspiration. Enjoy your retirement!

Gwendolyn J. Korvick

Penn Hills

The writer is an art teacher in the New Kensington-Arnold School District.

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