Wakefield Faculty/Staff Deceased: In Memoriam

John Clarence Sasscer
b:             d: 1/18/2005

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John Sasscer MR. JOHN SASSCER, Biology; Biology Club; Rifle Club
The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. - February 15, 2005

John Clarence "Larry" Sasscer, 73, retired associate dean for planning and student outcomes assessment at Northern Virginia Community College, died January 18 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of complications of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. Sasscer was associate dean from 1988 to 1991.  He continued to teach biology as an adjunct professor until 2000.

He worked to implement innovations in teaching and learning assessment that resulted in students achieving their education and personal goals, his family said.

Dr. Sasscer was born in Schenectady, New York.  He moved to the Washington area in 1942 and graduated from Western High School in the District.

He received from Catholic University a bachelor's degree in biology in 1953, a master's degree in botany in 1955 and a Ph.D. in education technology in 1973.

As a B-47 pilot, he served in the Air Force with the Strategic Air Command from 1955 to 1958.

After his military service, Dr. Sasscer was a biology teacher at Wakefield and Yorktown high schools in Arlington.  At Wakefield in 1961, he initiated and administered the first formal biology team-teaching experimentation.  He also created a systems approach to curriculum development in a special materials class for slow learners in biology.

From 1962 to 1966 at Wakefield, he designed and experimented with closed-circuit television classroom teaching, incorporating video recording into closed-circuit TV teaching.

He also was a lecturer in biology at the Northern Virginia extension of the University of Virginia from 1959 to 1974.  Dr. Sasscer also was professor of biology and chairman of the division of mathematics and science at the Alexandria campus of NVCC from 1969 to 1988.

He was instrumental in the creation and leadership of education associations.  In 1969, he served as president of the Arlington Education Association and helped develop a joint School Board-Education. Association committee that focused on contract negotiations and a system for teacher and program evaluation.

As a founding member and board president of the Virginia Association for Biological Education, he promoted the improvement of undergraduate education in biology in Virginia.   He also was a founding board member of the Parents Association to Neutralize Drug and Alcohol Abuse, a, group to inform and assist parents with problems of drug abuse among children and teenagers.

He was a resident of North Springfield and a longtime member of its association citizens patrol.

Dr. Sasscer' participated in antique auto shows.  He restored and displayed a 1948 Chrysler New Yorker coupe and a 1968 Mercury Cougar sedan.

In retirement, he undertook many creative projects including -organizing and captioning more than 45 family picture albums and creating dozens of elegant lap desks, keepsake boxes, bookends and pen sets in his wood shop.  He also wrote a novel, "You Must Remember This" (2001).

His marriage to Alice Kennedy Sasscer ended in divorce.

Two daughters died before him, Elisa Ann Sasscer in 2004 and Cynthia Marie Adams in January.

Survivors include his wife of 28 years, Monica Flynn Sasscer of Springfield; four children from the first marriage, John Gregory Sasscer of Fairfax, Maureen C. Ofutt of Sterling, Brian S. Sasscer of Stafford and Lawrence Sasscer of Fort Valley, Virginia; a brother, Richard Scott Sasscer of Silver Spring; a sister, Nancy Baird Casper of Piano, Texas; and five grandchildren.

2011 Wakefield Class of 1960 and Wakefield Education Foundation (information@wakefieldalumni.org)