Education Week - June 20, 2018 - 27
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Honoring Teachers Who Made A Difference: Stories Of Thanks
In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week and the
outstanding service of millions of educators across
the country, I asked several of my colleagues to provide stories about a teacher or teachers who made a
difference in their lives. You will see that the stories
below are a fun, positive, and refreshing reminder of
the impact a great educator can have on many lives!
I will share these first-hand accounts in two blogs
this week. I invite you to share your own stories in
the comments section below!
Mr. Frank at John Glenn High School in New Concord,
Mr. Frank was such a wonderful teacher. He was so intelligent
and passionate about challenging and encouraging us to do our
very best. I was lucky to have a seat in his classroom.
-Leslie Damron, PMP, in Westerville, OH
Shirley Jones, Choral Director at Meade County High
School in Brandenburg, KY: 1980s-1990s
Shirley Jones taught me what the combination of dedication and
high standards can achieve. A consistent and award-winning
music educator, she knew how to strike the right balance of encouragement and pressure to raise everyone's level of performance. But rather than being an external motivator, Shirley
Jones knew that deep down that every student she worked with
wanted to be great at something - she just helped move each
student toward that destination.
-Dr. Jason E. Glass, State Director, Iowa Department of Education
Jerry Boland and the late Ted Westin at Penn Cambria High
School in Presson, PA: 1973
Jerry was the band director and Ted directed the choir. They
encouraged me to dream.
-Sherman Moyer in Columbus, OH
Neil Collins at Alice Drive Jr. High School in Sumter,
Mr. Collins was a new teacher of 8th grade social studies that
year. His big things were to teach us how to take notes and he
was creative with his learning techniques even back then. We
had to take notes for every lecture and turn them in for a grade.
My favorite creative learning technique was when he taught us
about trench warfare in WWI. He had us get paper wads, set up
the classroom with trenches and had us reenact a battle. Of
course the principal came in when she saw the paper wad's flying but soon backed off when she saw we were actually learning.
The reenactment helped me understand the lecture that came
first through visualization. The note taking got me through college and to this day, I can accurately explain and understand
-Patricia Rocca, PHR in Charlotte, NC
Garden Oaks and Durham Elementary Schools within Houston Independent School District, TX
Every year of Elementary school, my current year's teacher was
my new favorite teacher, though I still loved my prior teachers!
Thank you, Mrs. McReynolds, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Spinks, Mrs.
Ryan, Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Harris for the love you showed me
and the love of learning you gave to me!
-Denise Gowan in Houston, TX
Sean (ELA) and Karen Wheeler (Math) at Lakewood High
School in Lakewood, OH
I lift up dynamic duo Sean (@mrwheeler) and Karen Wheeler (@
mathcoachlkwd)--inspired and inspiring teacher leaders walking
the talk, feeding students bodies with turkey sandwiches and
minds with project based learning (Lakewood High School,
Ohio). Find them on the web at Teaching Humans.
-Melanie Wightman in Lakewood, OH
Mr. Canan, Physics teacher, Corvallis High School,
Corvallis, OR: 1987
Mr. Canan was the best Physics teacher! He wrote his own
book, used real life examples, and taught me physics principles I
still teach my kids today! Just to give you an idea, on senior skip
day, everyone went to his class and then skipped the rest of the
-Teresa Daulong in Spring, TX
Pat Vujevich at A.I. Root Middle School in Medina, OH
While growing up, my mother was a teacher. I witnessed her
hard work and dedication over the years, but didn't do a great job
of recognizing it. Now, as a grown adult, I realize all she did to
not only help her students learn, grow and succeed, but also
shape me into the hard working and determined individual that I
am. I'm proud of her in so many ways, and would like to thank
her for her caring, nurturing and encouraging spirit. She's made
the world a better place.
-Julie Vujevich in Columbus, OH
Wilma Wheeler at Union Cross Elementary School in Kernersville, NC: 1991-1992
Wilma Wheeler was my 2nd grade teacher by title, but became a
life-long mentor and role model. As a 2nd grader, I did not know
my own potential, but she pushed my beyond my limits to ensure
that I was successful. Failure was not an option in her class.
Because of her dedication to my success and all the students
she taught, I chose a career in education and I now serve as a
Principal. I hope that I can inspire others just as she inspired me!
-Alison L. Harris, Principal in Charlotte, NC...
To read more blog posts, visit http://blogs.edweek.org/
The opinions expressed are strictly those of the author
and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education.
EDUCATION WEEK | June 20, 2018 | www.topschooljobs.org