As a child, I knew my grandmother had been a teacher. She retired when I was small, but I came to understand that she had taught GED classes and later typing and business classes to high school students. This all became real when she and I were at restaurant one day and she was stopped by a waitress. The waitress thanked my grandmother “for everything” and then turned to me and said, “Your grandmother was just the best teacher.”
I was struck in that moment. That seemed to be the greatest compliment that anyone could ever get – to be thanked for making a difference in someone’s life, even if one thinks, as my grandmother humbly did, that your part was small. And so in honor of my grandmother and Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to send appreciations out to three teachers.
Mark Rand, my 7th grade geography teacher. Thank you for opening my eyes to the world beyond our city lines and for teaching me that doing things right takes care, not speed.
Suzanne Nicolo, my 12th grade AP English teacher. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to try harder, dig deeper, and achieve more.
Anthony Witwicki, my 12th grade psychology teacher. Thank you for showing me time and again that in the face of conflict, integrity can stand tall.
And one more…Thank you to my grandmother, Mary Dolan. Thank for teaching me to be kind and to be engaged in the world around me. And that an afternoon is always better with a Pecan Sandie. It is.