As this year’s Teacher Appreciation Month draws to a close, all of us at Prestwick House would like to express our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of teachers.

Below, several members of the Prestwick House team share messages of encouragement and personal stories about teachers who have made a difference in their lives.

What do teachers mean to you?

I personally appreciate the work teachers do more than ever now that I’m a mom. My son spends most of his time at school, and his teachers help me feel that he’s being cared for and held to the same high standards that he is at home. All of his teachers are essentially helping me mold him into who he will be as an adult, and I believe we all want our children to grow to be good people in this world. I’ll forever be grateful for the people who choose this profession.

– Kathy Nickolson, Social Media Associate

Teachers are literally superheroes. They are responsible for shaping, guiding, and educating the next generation of leaders and thinkers, and quite often, they do so on low budgets, dealing with absurd time constraints, and running on caffeine and passion alone. They deserve the best!

– Rachel Natbony, Associate Editor

The teachers who made the biggest difference in my life were the ones who really got to know me as a person. They made what I was learning come alive in ways that were fun and relevant to my life. Those teachers are a source of inspiration to me in my work, and I will always be grateful to them.

– Darlene Gilmore, Project Editor

I appreciate what teachers do because a really great teacher feels responsible for more than just their part in educating each student based on the curriculum decided by a district. Any of us who are parents understand that as these kids mature, they are confronted with many situations that fill the hallways at school with emotional drama. We entrust a sometimes-overwhelming responsibility to teachers in making sure our kids feel safe and stay on track to be successful while we go about our busy lives. So, I’d like to personally thank all of the teachers and faculty at Middletown High School for providing my 2019 graduating senior with a healthy and responsive learning environment throughout this part of his journey. Next year, he’ll be attending West Chester University! Go Golden Rams!

– Jen Mendoza, Senior Art Director

In addition to the valuable instruction teachers give every day, I appreciate the example they set for students. As children, it is important to have positive adult influences, and teachers provide just that. Years removed from the classroom, I still recall some of my favorite teachers and the role models they served as during my youth.

– Christopher Griffith, Marketing Manager

Which of your teachers helped you grow when you were a student?

I appreciate all of my high school teachers—Mrs. Chanson, Mrs. Malone, Mrs. Goodyear—because they always encouraged me to read challenging books: Cat’s Cradle, A Clockwork Orange, Catch-22, Invisible Man, and so much more.

– Keith Bergstrom, President

In high school, I struggled with depression and needed a way to cope with those feelings. Mrs. Snapp, my English teacher, suggested I try creative writing. Though it wasn’t in the curriculum, Mrs. Snapp gave me extra writing prompts and provided feedback for the pieces I shared with her. Looking back, I truly appreciate her willingness and selflessness to take time out of her already busy schedule to help me through a rough period of my life. I don’t think I’d be a writer today were it not for Mrs. Snapp’s guidance and patience.

– Alana Domingo, Copywriter

Mr. Galloway—my AP U.S. History teacher—was smart, fair-minded, and as passionate about his subject as any teacher I ever encountered. He empowered students to question popular assumptions about America and gave them room to express and test their own viewpoints, even if he strongly disagreed. I tried my best to carry that practice into my own classroom, and I hope I did for even one student what he did for me and countless others.

– Josh Corman, Writer and Education Specialist

Once again, to all teachers out there, thank you so much for everything you do. As philosopher Sidney Hook once said, “Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.”