Sarah Stultz: Recognize teachers who make a difference

Published 9:02 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.

Everybody usually has one — that teacher from back in elementary or high school who motivated you to change or to become a better person. For some people, that teacher came into their lives later in college and maybe even inspired them to become what profession they are today.

More often than not, that person was an awesome teacher not only in the classroom, but outside the classroom as well, teaching about life lessons and things beyond academics.

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While I have many teachers I remember from my years in school, one who sticks out to me was named Kristi Fry.

Mrs. Fry taught — and still does teach — English at Northside High School in Roanoke, Virginia. She was instrumental in helping me find confidence in my writing and to explore the possibility of doing more with my writing after high school.

Beyond the writing, I remember reading many exceptional books in her class, as well.

I also remember another teacher named George Seymour. Mr. Seymour taught music at Glen Cove Elementary School, also in Roanoke.

What I remember most about Mr. Seymour was his passion for music and his passion for life. He had a contagious positive attitude, and we, as students, loved him!

In addition to his music classes, I had the opportunity to take part in Odyssey of the Mind with him as one of my coaches, and our family got to know him even better.

I don’t know what Mr. Seymour is doing today, but I smile just thinking about him in those days.

Why do I bring these two teachers up?

I think we do not often tell our teachers how much we appreciate them. This month, however, we have the chance to do so.

The Albert Lea Education Association and Albert Lea Area Schools officials are seeking letters of nomination for the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year.

This is a chance to express appreciation for teachers whose examples have inspired parents, students and teachers.

According to the guidelines, teachers must be currently teaching within the district to be eligible, and finalists must have completed at least three years in the district.

Anyone may nominate a teacher by submitting a form found on the district’s website to the Albert Lea Education Association at P.O. Box 826, Albert Lea, MN 56007.

Nominations must be received by Jan. 25.

I have had the opportunity to meet many teachers in our district through my children or this job, and I know that we are very blessed in this district to have the teachers we do.

Let them know how much we appreciate them.