Updates from Upperclassmen: A spotlight on teachers who made a difference

Published 8:00 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

Updates from Upperclassmen by Ella Bordeaux and Sophie Hareid

As high school seniors, we have been a part of this school district for 13 years. Since kindergarten, we have had the privilege to be taught by many amazing teachers. We believe that it is important to give credit to the people who have helped shape us into the people we are today, so we wanted to take this opportunity to thank those teachers who have positively impacted our lives, not only through the subjects they teach but more importantly by teaching us long-lasting life lessons.

Ella Bordeaux

To all of our teachers from Lakeview Elementary to Albert Lea High School, thank you for positively impacting our lives along with so many others. We don’t believe that we would be the same people without your influence in our lives. 

Email newsletter signup

To Ms. Anna Westcott, our third-grade teacher, thank you for making reading fun. We will always remember lit circles in your class; your class taught us that reading can be a hobby when you find a good book. We remember the time you taught us about synonyms and brought us cinnamon rolls because they sound so similar, as well as so many other little lessons you taught us. We look back on our “what does the clock say” video often, with many laughs shared with current classmates and teachers. It was in your class that Ella realized that she wanted to be a teacher. We have so many fond memories from your class, and we wanted you to know that we appreciate you and the lessons we learned in your class. 

To Ms. Amy Skinness, our sixth-grade history teacher, thank you for making a potentially boring class fun. There are a lot of memories we have from your class, all of which are positive. Some of the things that we learned in your class we still use today — a big example being when you read us a “breakup letter” you found on the floor, which turned out to be the sixth-grade version of the Declaration of independence. We hope you know how much of a positive impact you have had on our lives; we talk about you quite often.

Sophie Hareid

To Ms. Wendy Greenfield, our seventh-grade history teacher, thank you for being the first teacher who made us realize we actually loved learning. We have many memories of your class, but what sticks out the most is that you were the first teacher who actually made learning fun. Along with all the life lessons you opened doors to, you helped Sophie recognize how much she loves history. Thank you for opening our eyes for the first time and teaching us to become great people. We appreciate you and the influence you have made in our lives.

To Ms. Casey Kortz, our middle school gym and health teacher, thank you for the life lessons you taught us. More than anything we learned in your class, the memory of the atmosphere of your classroom is something we always talk about. From the time you helped her cope with a broken ankle, but more importantly, the times you were there for us when we needed it most — we wanted to thank you for being one of those teachers that we talk about for years to come. 

To Ms. Gina Klennert, our high school gym and health teacher and our link crew leader, thank you so much for the way you teach. Thank you for making each day positive, listening to our rants, teaching us health lessons in a way that isn’t boring, and above all, thank you for being a safe place, someone we know we can talk to no matter what. We hope you know what a positive impact you have made in our lives — thank you for your role in teaching us to be good humans. 

To Mr. Jim Haney, our current social studies teacher, thank you so much for making history fun for us to learn. You make each day a surprise because we never know what you’re going to do next. All the memories we made in your class will be remembered so fondly, especially the Discover History project, which was a day that we as well as the fifth graders will never forget. We’re going to miss having such an outgoing and imaginative teacher like you in college, so we wanted to remind you how much we appreciate you and all the things we get to experience by being in your classes. 

To Mr. Kevin Gentz, our current math teacher and link crew leader, thank you for who you are. Your classroom is a place where we can learn, have fun, laugh, make memories, have tough conversations and so much more. We have learned so much from you these past two years, and some of the advice you have given us has played big roles in the life decisions we are currently making. Thank you for going out of your way to form positive relationships with all of your students, thank you for believing in us, thank you for pushing us to be better versions of ourselves and also thank you for not being afraid to call us out when we get it wrong. We appreciate you more than you will ever know.

To Ms. Therese Netzer, our current English teacher, thank you the most for being an amazing teacher as well as a friend. In your class, we’ve learned so many things: from how to use rhetorical devices to how to respond to our family’s comments at Thanksgiving dinner. You are such an amazing person, and I think we speak for everyone when we say we want to be as kindhearted and thoughtful as you are as we get older. We appreciate all the AP techniques as well as the life lessons you have taught us. You are such an amazing person Ms. Netzer, and we are so grateful to have you as a teacher. 

Once again we wanted to say a big thank you to all of our teachers. You have all made a difference in our lives and we appreciate you so so much!

 Ella Bordeaux and Sophie Hareid are seniors at Albert Lea High School.