I’d like to invite you to talk a walk with me down memory lane and think about the teachers in your lives that truly made a difference. I immediately think of my 8th grade teacher at Villa Maria Grade School, Sister Eulalia. Sister was an older Josephite nun, who had taught my father English at Saint Ann’s School. When I first walked into her classroom, my knees were shaking, my hands were sweating, and I was in a state of panic. Why? Sister Eulalia was, first and foremost, a strict grammarian. Under her tutelage, we diagrammed “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” and every other prayer recommended by Sister. It was her belief that unless you could diagram, you could not write a clear, concise sentence that would effectively communicate your message. By the time I graduated from 8th grade, not only could I diagram every prayer, but I actually wrote a paragraph worthy of Sister’s approval. I love writing, even today, and I thank Sister Eulalia for enabling me to develop those skills.
My next thought of influential teachers brings up Ryan’s academic career. He was very fortunate to have many outstanding teachers throughout his career in the Millcreek School District. Two teachers who truly made a difference in Ryan’s education were Darcie Mosley and Regina Cocolin. As principal of Walnut Creek Middle School, Darcie welcomed Ryan into the WC family from his first day in 6th grade. Regardless of his challenges, she was Ryan’s greatest champion and cheerleader. I attribute his success in middle school to Darcie’s leadership. Regina Cocolin was Ryan’s speech teacher in high school. The enthusiasm and commitment to his success that was shown by Regina encouraged Ryan to achieve the very best.
Finally, my thoughts are drawn to the teachers and therapists on the ELBS faculty. These individuals make dreams come true for our students, each and every day. It is my honor, and pleasure, to work with them on a daily basis. I congratulate each of them as they continue to carry out the mission of Dr. Gertrude Barber.
Do you remember your most influential teacher(s)? I invite you to share those memories with everyone here!
“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils.”
– Ever Garrison