The Eagle Flyer

Students recognize impactful teachers

Gabby Salibo, Co-Editor in Chief

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What makes a great teacher? Students and parents often find themselves asking that when looking for the best form of education. In today’s society, teaching is considered one of the most complicated jobs out there. Students here, and especially for those who are lifers, have grown as individuals through the teachers they’ve had. Throughout the years, teachers have positively impacted students academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

For some students, connecting with teachers on a spiritual and emotional level left more of an imprint on their lives than anything else. Working as a Spanish teacher and mentor to his students, Jeff Bailey made it a point to help and encourage students if there is something they need to work on or help with, whether academically or personally. In his most recent years at the school, Bailey made a strong impact on one student in particular.

“I’ve had Señor Bailey as a teacher for the past two years,” Noah Reitmeyer (‘19) said. “He’s always making me stay on my toes in my faith. I’ve told him a lot about my struggles in my relationship with God, and he’s been really great about checking in on me.”

Teachers served as small group leaders for Wednesday chapels and even lead mission trips to foreign countries. Mariah Brooks (‘18) describes her AP Language teacher, college counselor, Haiti mission trip leader, and small group leader as an inspiration, really cool person, and strong leader in not only her life but in the lives of those around her. Cindy Warner has been able to impact students in a unique way with the positions she holds.

“As a teacher, college counselor, and mission trip leader, I play many different roles in the lives of students at this school,” administrator Cindy Warner said. “Overall, I get to mentor them as a whole person and in their walk with the Lord.”

Other students consider some of their earliest teachers as mentors who shaped them to be who they are today. Lana Cotton added a more ambitious aspect to her style of teaching and pushed her students to excel in their academic careers.

“My favorite teacher out of the thirteen years I’ve been at this school is Mrs. Cotton, my first grade teacher,” Bree Perkins (‘17) said. “She really pushed me and encouraged me to work hard in school and was always dedicated to the success of her students.”

Although much of the learning process requires gaining a better knowledge of a specific curriculum, teachers used certain techniques to peak the interest of students during lectures. Peter Ferguson (‘17) described a teacher that made a huge impact on his life by simply being humorous, committed, and friendly. Having Ken Pichette as a bible teacher for the past four years straight has never gotten old for Ferguson. Not only has Ferguson grown as a student, but Pichette has also helped solidify his faith and taught him many things about being a Christian believer.

“School is pretty serious and a lot of pressure, so I feel like you got to keep it a little light,” Pichette said. “Humor is a good teaching tool, and even Jesus and Paul used it. If you can’t laugh at yourself and laugh with other people every now again, school would be pretty grim.”

Each teacher desired a connection with their students on levels that vary from just academics, and they strived to help them grow as individuals. Being at a small private school gave teachers and students a better opportunity to build relationships throughout their academic careers, whether as the teacher or the learner. Growing up from kindergarten to 12th grade, students recognized faculty that have changed their lives in countless ways over the years.

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Students recognize impactful teachers