In honor of National Teacher Day, we asked some of our staff members to tell us who their favorite teachers are. What did we learn? That a lot of our staff members have moms who are teachers! Read below to see who some of our best teachers are, and what they did to inspire us.
Vanessa Santos, Community College Specialist: There are a lot of things I don’t remember about my life when I was in the third grade, but I do remember being in Ms. Grasso’s class. She taught us our multiplication tables and how to write an essay, but that’s not why she remains my favorite teacher today. The thing I remember most about Ms. Grasso’s class is the excitement and interest in learning that only a great teacher can bring to their students. Unfortunately, my elementary school is one of the many run-down public school buildings still standing in the country today. Knowing what I know now, I have no doubt that the state of the building I was learning in definitely affected all students and teachers inside. Though teachers shouldn’t have to work so hard to overcome the challenges of poor educational environments, many – just like Ms. Grasso – do so every day, and we are so thankful for them. Happy National Teacher’s Day to the teachers who have dedicated their careers to inspiring others and helping them succeed! The impact you have on your students goes well beyond the short year you spend with them.
Carly Cowan, Executive Administration Assistant: Although never my teacher in the conventional sense, this woman has led me by example. Before becoming my mother, she had accumulated years of experience as a teacher and a mentor to hundreds of elementary school children. Fresh out of school at the ripe age of 23, she delved into the world of education without a doubt in her mind that this was the profession for her. What I admire most about her professionally isn’t her early determination or her obvious passion for her work, but rather her courage. After having been out of the profession for nearly twenty years to raise her one and only daughter, she decided to return to do what she loved. In that twenty year hiatus, however, the game had changed. Technology had drastically evolved, new teaching strategies had developed and everything was online. Being the resilient and luminous woman that she is, my mother adapted to the changing ways with grace and confidence in her fundamental talent as a teacher. Regardless of projectors, PowerPoint or new online platforms, my mother will tell you with pride that a good teacher is a good teacher.
Mallory Shelter, Communications Associate: My favorite teacher would have to be my mom, Vicki Shelter, who teaches 3rd grade at the Westtown School in Westtown, PA. Not only has she taught me and my siblings some important life lessons, she has an amazing way of making her students inspired and motivated every day. She truly understands that learning should be both fun and instructive, and brings that mentality into her classroom with grace and ease. My other favorite teacher is one of my college roommates, Gaby Tejedor. Gaby is passionate about making education accessible and meaningful for all kids, regardless of their background, and she is truly transforming the classroom one step at a time. She is currently a 3rd grade teacher at the Community Charter School of Paterson.
Alyssa Campagnoni, Manager, Governance: Linda Linker, 3rd grade at Indian Knoll Elementary School in West Chicago. I had just moved from Syracuse (yup), and she made me feel at home when I was the obvious new girl. She was so observant and ensured that all of her students were engaged and challenged. Two years later, she invited me back to help her grade papers and make her lesson plans. So nerdy, yet so cool.
Cindy Thompson, Chapter Development Specialist: My mom - Nancy Thompson! She's currently the principal at Talbott Springs Elementary School in Howard County, MD and is dedicated to teaching her diverse student body that every kid has a right to learn and thrive. She also led Talbott Springs to become a Howard County Green School!
Amy King, USGBC Leadership Institute: My mom, Alice Molitor King. She spent her career teaching at Fairfax High School in Northern VA. She taught me conservation, Spanish and French. And I know she had a tremendous influence on thousands of kids beyond her children.
Shawna Culter, Executive Assistant to the President
My favorite teacher is Carol Dillard, she was my 2nd grade teacher in Cleveland,OK. She actually is still teaching for the Tulsa Public School System, and she was named as one of the top five teachers for the schools systems. In my mind she is still the most awesome teacher. I will always remember her class as being a fun class. I am also proud of my mother who was a teacher for the Cleveland Public School System in Cleveland, OK. She challenge all of her students to love to learn enjoy reading books. She went every weekend to the Tulsa Public Library to check out books so her students would have a wide variety of books to choose from each week. Thank you mom for showing me the joy of opening my mind to a great novel.