It is American Education Week. This short essay by Fremont County Democratic Party Chair and FCSD1 Trustee, Bruce Palmer appeared on county10.com.
My career in education began 52 years ago when at age five my Mom put me on the bus for the very first time. And off I went to Bushy Hill Elementary School. My world was rocked.
I was surrounded by a new routine, with people that I didn’t know, in a building that was totally foreign to me. And I did fine. Better than fine. I started on a life-long journey that still goes on. The reason that I did fine was the awesome people that suddenly spent more time with me than my parents did—classroom teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and kitchen staff. They were dedicated to my experience and every one of them was a teacher—a purveyor of information, a shoulder to cry on, a role-model.
Everyday there are kids just like I was heading off to school. And every day there are educational victories, big and small, happening in our public schools. It isn’t just happenstance. It is because caring, intelligent and passionate teachers are there making it happen. It takes heroic efforts and our teachers of all types, whether in the classroom or the lunchroom, will always be heroes to me. This American Education Week let’s remember some of the heroes that made a difference in our lives. It is never too late to drop them a note or stop them in the grocery store and let them know what a difference they made. Here are a few of my heroes:
Mr. Leo Alvares—my sixth grade teacher and my grade 11 Language Arts teacher. Tough, demanding and fair Mr. Alvares would bring the class to attention with a brusque, “Without discipline there is no freedom.”
Ms. Marcia Brolli—Mrs. Brolli was my Language Arts teacher in 9th and 10thgrade. We worked and we had fun. Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” never looked as wild as it did when played out by a group of 10th grade boys! “Et tu, Brute?”
Dr. John Lindell—One of my political science professors at Hartwick College, Dr. Lindell taught me to write. The problem was I thought I knew how. He cleared up that misperception early in my college career and that led to academic success further down the road.
Dr. Diana Christopolous—Diana was just a few years older than I was when I started college. She was cool and progressive and we learned a lot in her American History classes. She challenged us to think differently and encouraged us to use a variety of mediums to express our thoughts.
These four people played a huge role in who I am today. Our schools in Lander and across our wonderful country are filled with American heroes. Who are the heroic teachers in your life?