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Boy Meets World’s Mr. Feeny Named Top TV Educator

Educators from across the country have named George Feeny from ABC sitcom Boy Meets World as the top TV educator of all time in an NEA.org poll.

The popular Mr. Feeny character, who still enjoys a cult following online and even has his own popular Facebook page, was played by veteran screen and stage actor William Daniels during the show’s run from 1993-2000. In the show, Feeny serves as a personal mentor as the children in his class age from elementary to college students.

William Daniels as George Feeny
in Boy Meets World. Courtesy of ABC.

In the NEA.org poll, Feeny faced off against a slew of popular TV educators, such as Gabe Kotter of Welcome Back, Kotter; Miss Beadle of Little House on the Prairie; Charlie Moore of Head of the Class; and Lydia Grant of Fame. Feeny narrowly edged Kotter, played by comedian Gabe Kaplan from 1975-1979, for the top honor. Miss Beedle, played by Charlotte Stewart from 1974-1978, finished third.

Some voters submitted comments about their favorite educators. “I always liked Karen Valentine,” commented one, referring to the actress who played Alice Johnson on Room 222.

Another voter of no certain age recalled Miss Crabtree from the old, black-and-white studio short, The Little Rascals. “She gave the kids ice cream and took them to an amusement park. She definitely needed NEA because she had to quit teaching when she married the truant officer!”

Also in the race was Mrs. Westlake of The Cosby Show. She was Theo's English teacher played by Sônia Braga. “It was perfect how she would let her hair down “out of school” and pin it up and wear her glasses when she was “discussing his grades,” explained one enthusiastic voter. “Perfect example of how some kids view their teachers!”

The educators in the poll were suggested by followers on the NEA Today Facebook page. Feeny was recommended by Pamela Finley Edwards, a 28-year special education teacher in Roanoke, Virginia. She admired how Feeny was “always available for some words of wisdom” for his students, and said Boy Meets World was a show she enjoyed watching with her two now-grown children.

Daniels, who played Feeny, is a former president of the Screen Actors Guild and won two Emmy Awards for his role as Dr. Mark Craig in the medical drama St. Elsewhere.


 


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Mr. Feeny uses tough love to encourage his students to care about more than pop culture. Click to watch.

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