Daniel Crusie, an extremely talented artist and former art teacher at Edward Lee McClain High School in Greenfield, still has a huge impact on the school today.
Many of the current teachers at McClain were Crusie’s students in high school, and there are some teachers at other schools around the Washington Court House area that are previous students of his as well.
Crusie was born Feb. 6, 1946, and began teaching art at the ripe old age of 19. He taught art at Paint Valley High School for six years and then went on to teach at McClain for 29 years. After retiring from 35 years of teaching high school art, he went on to become a professor at a university in Florida for 15 years.
Crusie said he has always liked to draw. People he went to college with at Morehead State University in Kentucky saw potential in his work, which inspired him to teach art. Crusie graduated from Buckskin in 1964 and spent the next 35 years or so teaching and inspiring the Greenfield community.
Some of the teachers at McClain today were greatly impacted by Crusie’s character and talent.
Chris Dodds (graphic arts, research and development) taught with him for seven years and said that Crusie is “a great guy and one of the funniest people he’s ever met.” Jenny (Free) Mustard (intervention specialist) had Crusie all four years of high school and said, “He was so encouraging for you as an artist. Even if you weren’t great at it, he made you feel proud about it.” Doug Peabody (intervention specialist) had Crusie as an art teacher and tennis coach. Peabody said, “He was one of the best artists I ever knew. We talked him into being our tennis coach because the school said if we could find a coach then we could have a tennis team.” Rachel Soards (high school art teacher) had him one year in high school and said, “He made us feel capable and always complemented our work.” William Roller (elementary teacher) went on to write several children’s books and also had Crusie for an art teacher. Last but not least, recently retired teacher Tim Gossett had Crusie for a tennis coach. Many other students of Crusie’s went on to do great things.
One of the former United States presidents owns some of Crusie’s work, and some of his artwork still remains in banks around the Greenfield area.
Crusie participated in many art shows and impacted many lives with his art, personality, and kindness. He is now retired in “The Sunshine State” of Florida with his wife and two dogs.
Alexis Lanman is a McClain High School journalism student.