When I reflect back over all of the teachers I had as a student, including the professors I had in college, I can remember almost every single one. I remember their personalities, their style of teaching, and the encounters I had, both positive and negative. Their patience seemed never ending. Their enthusiasm and passion for teaching were often contagious, and they became my role models as I became a parent and then as an administrator. There were certain teachers whose influence on my education was profound. I majored in history because of two teachers who made the past come alive, and I later devoted myself to an advanced degree study on character formation because of the influence of a professor of ethics. Others taught me perseverance, particularly when the subject matter was hard, and I learned how to write through the constructive critique of my English teachers. The point is that teachers have tremendous influence on us as we progress through formal education, and often it is the more informal instruction that leaves the deepest impression. I believe to teach is to answer a vocational call. Our future depends on teachers. As teacher/ astronaut Christa McAuliffe once said, “I touch the future. I teach.”
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week next week at St. Michael’s, I will be the first one to say “thank you” to the men and women who give their heart and soul to our students. Our success as a school has everything to do with the quality of instruction our students. Our graduates, who go on to achieve at the highest level in high school and college, are the measure our success. When graduates return to visit, they repeatedly give credit for their success to the foundation laid at St. Michael’s School. I am deeply grateful for our teachers, for their dedication, for their commitment to each child, and for the sacrifices they make in order to put the needs of their students first. Teachers do make a difference, and each becomes a special chapter in the lives of the children they teach. To the faculty at St. Michael’s, we salute you!
Head of School