The following was written by our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian V. Hightower on the importance of teachers for Teacher Appreciation Month (May).
Everyone has a story about “that teacher.”
The teacher whose work made a difference in your life. The teacher whose name you will never forget. The teacher whose words still encourage you.
I could write a book of all the stories of all the teachers who made me who I am today. And another about all of the teachers in our School District who inspire me with their dedication, compassion and successes.
The month of May is Teacher Appreciation Month in Georgia, and this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Every day is Teacher Appreciation Day in my heart. And my mind is on our teachers and our students in all of the decisions I make as your Superintendent of Schools.
To celebrate teachers, I’d like to share two names with you.
One is Dot Frasier. She was my eighth-grade teacher, and she made a lasting impression on me of how teachers not only teach lessons, they also shape the future lives of their students.
Ms. Frasier, because of how she went about her craft, is among those who heavily influenced my decision to become a teacher. I still find myself often wondering, “What Would Dot Frasier (Do/Say/Think)?”
When I was appointed as your Superintendent, she was one of the first people with whom I spoke, to thank her… and to continue to learn from her. While Ms. Frasier now is retired, she remains an advocate for teachers and raises thousands of dollars of community donations for classrooms. She’s an inspiration.
The other name is Jeremy Law. He’s our School District’s Teacher of the Year. I had the pleasure of inviting Jeremy and his wife to be my guests at the Cherokee County Educational Foundation’s “Celebration of Education” Gala.
While I already had met Jeremy, seen him at work teaching special needs students in the classroom and coaching football players on the field, listened to him speak and heard countless stories about his passion and accomplishments, you just can’t get enough time with a great teacher.
As you listen to Jeremy talk, you want to become a better teacher, a better coach, a better person. He’s an outstanding spokesperson and advocate for our teachers and our community as he serves in his Teacher of the Year role.
Teaching remains the most noble profession, and we cannot remind teachers enough how much we appreciate them.
Everyone in our society benefits from a teacher’s care and dedication: we not only learn to read and write, but also to think for ourselves and become who we are meant to be.
Let’s thank our teachers… not only this week, but on a regular basis. Write a note, send a small gift, make a phone call. Let the Principal and your School Board Member know why your child’s teacher is appreciated.
Even if you don’t have a child in one of our schools, think about the positive difference the teachers are making in our community and on its future. I hope you would agree that impact deserves appreciation from all of us.
And don’t forget about thanking your own childhood teachers — you’d be surprised how many are on Facebook! I plan on calling Ms. Fraser and thanking her again for the difference she made in my life.
I love the quote: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
The influence of Ms. Frasier, Jeremy and every teacher is eternal. We need to return thanks.