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Teachers. Years don’t change the impact.

When I was little I always said I wanted to be a lawyer. Everyone always said “you would make a damn good lawyer since you will argue your point til the cows come home”. I was young and completely dumb to what type of education that took. You can likely guess how quickly I stopped that train of thought. Also, I am no where near brave enough for that heavy of a job.

Then there was my dream of being a teacher. That was a no brainer. I adored my teachers throughout grade school and I wanted to be just like them all. There wasn’t a single one that didn’t make me feel loved, respected and safe. There wasn’t any that I couldn’t have gone to for absolutely anything I needed.

Mrs. Hodge who taught me how to write my name, tie my shoes, and that green eggs and ham tasted amazing! Mrs. Ingram and Mrs. Lawless gave out hugs as often as you needed. You couldn’t help but be happy with them, they had the best smiles! They would walk together and were a work duo you hoped to grow up and develop a similar relationship to Mrs. Palmer had the coolest room since there was a lab. She had the best laugh and was always happy to see you! We dehydrated fruit and I was amazed by it. Mrs. Voight and Mrs. Jones, another amazing duo. Their friendship was incredible and where one was the other was probably close behind. We would listen to 50’s/60’s music while writing in Mrs. Jones class. I loved it. My love for all types of music started at a young age! Mrs. Trapani…there aren’t enough words. She retired midway through my 6th grade year. She was an amazing and one of the most understanding and fun ladies I have known. We had a Christmas party at her house that was a highlight of the year.

JH and High school brought on an enormous amount of teachers into my life, I couldn’t even begin to name then all with the impact they had on me. Each one had a role in forming us and preparing us for life. Whether it was through education or discipline, they didn’t give up on us.

There were a handful who were especially instrumental in my life. Mrs. Biros was an Ag program’s dream. The absolute best FFA leader, a confidant and someone who loved her students with her whole heart. She taught us life lessons, she made us act right and held us accountable when we didn’t, she was there for us no matter what and without hesitation. She became a friend that could never be replaced. Some of my best moments and my most heartbreaking moments happened in the walls of her room. Most of which I only made it through because of her. Contests, Banquets, State Convention, National Convention, Ag Days, Barnyard, Harvest meals. There are endless memories with that beautiful woman.. She is the type of woman who breaks through ceilings. She remember birthdays. She remembers the small things. I’m beyond thankful for her and love her to pieces

Mr. Smith was the man who would teach every guy to show respect and every girl to expect respect. He would teach all of us to respect ourselves. He was patient and awfully tolerable of teenage emotions. He called me Miss Kibler more often than not. Usually it was to casually get my attention, a handful of times it was a warning that I was hitting a nerve. He took Katie and I to the Woodlinks convention in California with his group of guys – endless memories made! I was in a pretty bad accident on Prom night my Junior year. The next time I saw him he hugged me so tight and said “you are very lucky young lady…and so are we”. My heart melted. As an adult, I know he was the type of teacher who would have done anything in the world to keep us safe and teach us everything he could. I love him for all he was to me and for all he still is to kids today. My girls would be lucky to have an influence like him at school.

Mr. Hodge was the mountain man. I could tell by a look when he wasn’t impressed with my sarcasm. But I made him laugh more than I annoyed him, I’m sure. I would willingly grab a snake from the cage, or get the iguana out to hang out with during class. I dissected a worm and a cat. I ate roadkill. Sometimes it was barbecued. I slept in a tent in the winter on canoe trips (with my dad which was a huge bonus because he made sure I stayed warm). Really, what I’m getting at is that I trusted him. I did things I never would have if he hadn’t said “it’s ok”. That man was more interesting than many people I have met in all of my life. His stories of being a park ranger were some of my favorites. He got me a pink Swiss Army knife for graduation. I still carry it with me today. ❤️

It doesn’t stop there. But there is no possible way for me to make an exhaustive list. Blaase, Miller, Findley, Cox, Boland, Belobradic, Wood, Pollock, Lauritzen, Mueller, Derby, Reed, Allen…names I will not soon forget. They were all the moms and dads away from home. And now I send my girls to that same school, trusting their teachers to love them and keep them safe. I pray they make the relationships and develop the memories that I did. You can’t go back, but you can always visit your memories.


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