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#ThankAnEducator: Your Stories About the Educators Who Made a Difference in Your Life

This American Education Week, we asked you to share your stories about the educators who made a difference in your life and how they are transforming lives, schools and communities across North Carolina, the nation and the world. Here are some of your #ThankAnEducator stories.

From: Kailey Rea

I’ll never forget the relationships I’ve made with my teachers. My fifth grade teacher, Amanda Gosek, sticks out to me because she always encouraged me to be myself. She even wrote me a card with “50 Reasons Why Kailey Rocks!” Thank you educators! You inspire me.

From: Emily Elrod

Dr. Cyndi Edgington showed me how to create a thinking and collaborative classroom for PST.

From: Bethany Lee

I had an awesome high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Armstead, who inspired me to go into education!

From: Alex Davies

My AP Human Geography teacher sophomore year of high school, Mr. Story, assured me that I wanted to be a teacher. He was the best!

From: Ava Cottone

Mr. Ricci was my fifth grade math teacher. He helped me have confidence in math and life.

From: Dre Jordan

A high school teacher, Mrs. Julia McClannon, would have individual lunches with me to get to know me better!

From: Maddie Dwyer

Ms. Laura Stiles, my AP Biology teacher, was more than an educator; she was a mentor and cheerleader too!

From: Jonathan Silva

My Avid teacher, Jordan Martinez, encouraged me to continue my education.

From: Isabelle Noome

My mental health was terrible before the COVID-19 pandemic, but I had a teacher, Mr.Pinsky, who always checked in on me.

From: Hope Nguyen

My math teacher from freshman year, Mr. Lemmons, was always there for his students and always put his students and their mental health first. He made sure we always understood everything and took extra time for anyone who needed it. At that point, I knew I wanted to be a math educator because I wanted to make a difference like he did for me.

From: Allie Jones

My yearbook teacher, Suzanna Callahan, was like a second mom to me and was always there for me.

From: Hannah Kriner

A special professor, Dr. G, saw the struggles in my life and made sure I was taking care of me first.

From: Clare Cipriano

Ms. Kayla and Ms. Ebonee are two wonderful people who continue to inspire their class.

From: Jana Hunter

My high school family and consumer science teacher, Ms. Michelle Lindsey, empowered me to be a curious consumer of knowledge!

From: Johnna Jordan

My high school teacher, Mrs. Strickland, made me realize I am smart and brilliant. She’s my inspiration!

From: Abby Harrison

My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Karen Chalflinch, embodied what it means to build a relationship with students!

From: Anyah Moore

My high school teacher, Ms. Sisk. She is like a mom to me and has always been there!

From: Eva Happel

My English teacher in high school, Mrs. Harper, made the effort to ask every student how their day was before class.

From: Emily Southard

Dr. Garcia and Mr. Branam — they’re the best band directors EVER. They love music, the members and the Wolfpack.

From: Justin Egresitz

Dr. Steven Miller helped me grow as a person and educator in ways I could never repay.

From: Elizabeth Cashwell

Mrs. Pope inspired me to be a teacher. She instilled a love for learning and helping others in me.

From: Jessica Terrones

My high school teacher, Ms. Morgan showed me we are all capable of being good at math!

From: Sydney Loflin

Mr. Andy Miller always takes time to explain hard concepts to me about the environment!

From: Will Lamb

My high school Spanish teacher, Señora Lewis, sparked a love for languages and the Latinx community!

From: Elizabeth Brenneman

Brent Simoneaux was my rhetoric professor at NC State, and he made such a difference in my life! He took the time to get to know us and encourage us, and he went out of his way to be there for us if we ever had any personal problems. He wrote my letter of recommendation for grad school, years later, and it meant so much to me that he still remembered me and genuinely cared how I was doing.

From: Sophia Parsons

Thank you Ms. Shank — your kindness and patience inspired me to become a teacher.

From: Carla Gibson

My band director, Mr. Radford encourages his students to go above and beyond in everything they do.

From: Sarah Daughtry

I want to thank Dr. Harrington! To know her is to love her.

From: Joanna Hovis

As an educator myself, a former principal, Dana Ayers, played a major role in my life. She led and loved!

From: Caitlin Martinez

Dr. Harrington made me love reading again and elevated my passion for my students reading.

From: Alanna Mariano

Professor Hayes in the English department completely turned my attitude toward writing.

From: Caitlin Burke

Dr. Harrington showed me what it really means to care about your students!

From: Maddie Stevenson

My English teacher in middle school, Mrs. Carmeans, helped me like to read!

From: Lauren Clossey

Dr. Jill Jones in the College of Education is a dedicated teacher and amazing friend.

From: Hannah Lee

My sixth grade math teacher, Mrs. Thomas, made a huge impact on my decision to become a teacher.

From: Hannah Devane

My AP Stats teacher, Mrs. Porter, inspired me to become a high school math teacher!

From: Sarah Payne

My eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Barnett taught me to love writing through her engaging lessons and fun projects.

From: Ally Schulze

My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Thomas, and my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Baughman, both inspired me to teach.

From: Emma Miller

My high school biology teacher, Ms. Miller, inspired me to become one.

From: Amber Autry

My high school English teacher, Joe Grates, taught me a lot about writing and even more about life.

From: Shelby Brown

My second grade instructional assistant, Ms. Ross, helped me be confident in my decisions! She changed my life!

From: Abbie Tucker

I want to thank my AP Calculus teacher in high school, Debbie Akers! She knew how to simplify the content for us!

Amanda Tucker and her friend with Mrs. Akers.

From: Rachel Beahn

My high school chorus teacher, Mrs. Siedschlag, really made class feel like a safe space and was like a second mom.

From: Lisandra Mejia

My high school agriculture teacher, Ms. Haigler, changed my life and inspired me to follow in their footsteps.

From: Logan Cottengim

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Allamon, is the reason I want to be an elementary school teacher!

From: Jessica Hawkins

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Burdett, was a role model for how I want to be as an elementary teacher.

From: Emily Schofield

Dr. Harrington made sure we all knew how loved and special we were to her!

From: Johwin Bdap

Mr. Gabriel, my middle school teacher, guided me through high school, and now I’m a first generation college student.

From: Brena Gauland

From: I want to thank my FBLA advisor — Mr. Garner — I don’t know where I would be without him

From: Morgan Harris

Kari Kuebel reaffirmed my passion to be an educator.

From: Jessica Mattie

I want to thank Dr. Baker in counselor education! He helped me become the school counselor I am today

From: Kayleigh Scarlett Hopper

Mrs. Upchurch taught me that learning could be fun and engaging!

From: Robin McWilliams

Mrs. Kanoy, my middle school science teacher, taught with passion for the subject

From: Sarah Mabe

I would like to thank my second grade elementary school teacher. She is the reason why I wanted to go into the elementary education program at NC State, and served as an example of an educator that advocates for her students. Thank you Mrs. Miles!

From: Matt Taylor

I had some amazing teachers, but my AP Physics teacher, Mr. Bell, opened the door to inquiry learning for me, and I haven’t looked back since. I try to model my own science classroom somewhat after his.

From: Alyssa Johnson

I had many wonderful teachers, but the one that sticks out is my 5th grade math teacher, Ms. Lee, who majorly boosted my confidence in math!! One of my inspirations for becoming a teacher!