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Readers Sent In Their Teacher Tributes

In our September issue, we asked if you had a teacher who changed your life. Read some of those teacher tributes here and in print this month on page twelve.


My fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Phyllis Bass, Ratcliffe Elementary, changed my life. I was painfully shy. Because of her praise and encouragement, my confidence grew. I started volunteering to be in class activities. The special attention she gave me made a world of difference in my life. Mrs. Bass was my favorite all-time teacher. Sandra, Mechanicsville


Mrs. Diggs, middle school choir. Practice makes perfect and the golden rule – simple thoughts, yet often forgotten and if remembered with each breath we take, the world would be a better place!


Ginger Lopez was my English teacher at Garfield Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. She helped me with my path in life and was instrumental in being a great friend and incredible teacher! Gloria, Henrico


I grew up in Virginia Beach, but currently live in Richmond, and this will be my fifteenth year teaching. I became a teacher because of two reasons. Teaching was in my family, my grandmother was a teacher and my dad still teaches at the college level. Secondly, I loved my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Clough. She inspired me daily and was always so positive and nurturing. This is what I try to be to my students every day as well!


My teacher was also my soccer coach, and when a member of my family has hospitalized for about six months, she helped out getting me to and from practices and games in order to keep to my normal routine. This helped me tremendously. Kelly K., Chester


The special teacher I had was Deen Entsminger, who I had for a choral music teacher at Douglas Freeman High School from tenth grade to twelfth grade (1972-1975). He was a wonderful mentor to us, and instilled a life-long love of choral singing in me. He was a wonderful inspiration to impressionable high schoolers! He is now Dr. Entsminger, a professor and music director at Belmont University, where he continues to inspire students. I now sing in the Chesterfield County Choral Society.


My tribute is to Mr. Jeremiah, my tenth grade English teacher. He was funny, but strict. He challenged us to be on the honor roll; he said he knew we had it in us to make honor roll. His challenge made me work and study harder to get those better grades. At the end of the year, I made honor roll. I continued getting honor roll my junior and senior year. I almost made it into the honor society, but one other student had a higher GPA. I gave the same challenge to my kids and both are honor roll kids.


My seventh grade teacher at Woodrow Wilson Junior High in Roanoke, Mr.Williams, read us a short story every morning about a famous person who achieved greatness or exceeded a goal despite long odds against them. He would end each story with a short statement about always doing your best and setting high expectations for yourself. Very soft spoken and sincere, the way he presented the story made us all want to be quiet and pay attention, and for most of us to try our best. Don, Chesterfield



Mrs. Nash in elementary school. I was shy and she helped me come out of my shell!


Mrs Dillard ran a tough ship, but I loved her. Swift Creek Middle School, science class


I loved Mrs. Markham, she recently retired from being a math teacher at Midlothian Middle School.


My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Nikirk, was the teacher that lit the spark in me to love learning! I am forever grateful!


Mrs. McLaughlin fifth grade in Florida – she got me excited about learning and always encouraged creative writing!


I had an English teacher in high school who was a very good friend as well as a super educator. The advice and guidance was invaluable throughout my life!


Ms. Patterson- ninth-grade English. Strict but inspiring! Learned to LOVE literature (minored in English lit in college and a bio major). Also, she is the reason I became a teacher!!


Eulane Rose was my choir/ensemble teacher and became a life-long mentor and friend!


I was lucky enough to have many dedicated amazing teachers, but I really enjoyed math class with Mr. Edwards at Charlottesville High School. He patiently taught us math and told us interesting stories from his life experience but he also taught me how to print my letters so that in my late teens my handwriting was finally legible. Seems like a small thing but it made such a big difference to me! Charlotte, Richmond


She’s not an instructional teacher, but the school nurse. Mrs. Robin Davis was not only the best teacher when it came to my son’s medical condition of type 1 diabetes, but a life-time friend since we met when my son was in the sixth grade. Now our son is a senior in high school, and he still talks about what he learned from her over the years. Hamilton Holmes Middle School is beyond blessed to have her in their school here in King William County.


I finished sixth grade in a public school in Hawaii after moving from the Philippines. English is my second language, so learning English was not easy. Mrs. Otto was her name and I just remembered her being patient and knew how to encourage me. Thanks to her hard work I eventually learned English. Mary Ann, Mechanicsville


My tenth-grade honors English teacher allowed me to realize that I can be myself and be happy with that. She allowed me to share my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, through writing when I was scared to speak.


Mrs. Tuomi, my first grade teacher, made me feel special and smart. Instead of punishing me for “talking too much,” she gave me a fellow student to mentor. I was his reading coach. I will never forget her. She instilled a love of learning and made me feel like I could accomplish anything.


Three weeks after my 22-year-old mother died of liver cancer, I found myself in a foster home, a new state, and going to first grade. I was sad, angry, and confused about my mother’s death and trying to fit in while grieving the death of my mom without any counseling. Mrs. Angle, a lady who dressed like the mother on Leave It To Beaver with her pearls and neatly pressed dress, gave me books to read that began my healing and I have loved reading to this day.


Mrs. Diggs, middle school choir – She installed the desired to strive for perfection and practice makes perfect while understanding that perfection is not always a realistic achievement. Make a joyful noise.





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