This week's article puts more emphasis on students and their relationships with their teachers rather than all focus on the educators. We interviewed several students and asked about the most influential teacher they have had. The answers we received were much more personal and impactful than expected.
The first of the students we interviewed was Jacob Leach of the sophomore class. Leach said that his most influential teacher to this point is Mark Hilliard. He stated that, "He has shown me the history of many points in time and has made me appreciate the study of history. He has also helped me choose my aspired career in law." Leach said Hilliard has maintained a lasting effect on his life by showing him "how to maintain discipline among those you are responsible for and important studying skills."
The second person we interviewed, a Barnesville High School junior, Baylie MacMillan, said her most influential teacher was Nick Saffield. MacMillan praised his teaching, saying, "He believed in not only me, but every kid. He truly wants all the kids to be happy and he does everything to help the kids achieve this. He genuinely cares about each and every kid, unlike some teachers. Lastly, he was a great history teacher, who made me love history even more." When asked how Saffield has continued to impact her life, MacMillan said , "He helped shape the person I have become today. He made me realize that I am a person first and a student second. He has forever changed the way I view teachers and I thank him for that."
The final interview was freshman Payne Johnson. Johnson's most influential teacher was his sixth grade English teacher, Lori Witchey. He says that she has "impacted me in a way no other teacher has." Witchey has influenced him so much "because of her teaching style inside of the classroom and the way she has fought and persevered outside of the classroom with her battles of cancer." By knowing how Witchey carried herself throughout her battle of cancer has made a lasting impact on him. Johnson shares, "She has shown to me that you always need to keep pushing forward no matter how bad your situation may be. I know she has had a lasting effect on many of my other friends as well."
It was a nice change to see how much students truly appreciate the teachers they have. A new insight was provided in a way that usually is not. We are all very thankful for not only the teachers featured but all teachers who help us prepare for the world we are about to face.