I have an abundance of riches when it comes to role models and mentors.
I am blessed with great parents and family members who have showed me by example how to love, live, forgive, laugh, and even the right way to argue and say I’m sorry.
I have had friends- both those who are still in my life and those who I have lost touch with- who showed me the meaning of fun and friendship, of taking chances, and being awesome at life.
But by far some of the greatest cheerleaders and most inspiring people throughout my life have been teachers.
My first grade teacher Mrs. Kozak helped foster my love of reading and encouraged my curiosities and love of learning. Third grade Mrs. Thibodeau recognized my need to do and learn more than what was in the regular class curriculum and placed me in the gifted and talented group ( we called it Spectrum), a program I would stay into until it ended when I was in eighth grade.
In seventh grade, Mr. Auclair pushed me to do intensive history research projects and read books outside my comfort zone. He supported my writing and made sure that when I was in high school, I joined the debate club, an extracurricular that helped me hone my superior research skills which I use every single day of my job. In eighth grade, Mr. Leonard challenged me with his tough tests and essays, but made me engage with history in new ways that were exciting. Both of those teachers inspired the love of history that was already growing inside me.
High school was a tough time academically, but it was the support of teachers who ran the extracurriculars who helped shape my future. The music department was my home and the various folks ( Dr. Perry, Mr. Maggs, and Mr. Soares) were great advisors and leaders and treated everyone as adults, a lesson many of us hormone ridden, unruly teens needed. Mr. Levesque the debate coach really showed me how to write an argument, find good evidence, and the public speaking skills I learned in high school are things I use all the time with my work.
There are more college professors and grad school folks to name- so much that I think they deserve their own separate post- and I know that I’ve left out so many influential people in my K-12 years of education. I have been a curious girl my whole life and was always the one doing the extra work or wanting more reading and so many of the teachers I had recognized and fostered that within me. I have no doubt their positive influence has brought me to my successful career today. So many of my friends, both in-real-life and online are teachers in some way and they inspire me everyday with what they do; their role is so huge and important in the lives of their students- especially for the little girl like me.
Thank You for what you do.