Azle High School’s top seniors honor their most influential teachers

Chris Allen
Dear Coach Allen,

When describing the type of mentor, coach, and person Coach Allen is a quote always comes to mind. “Saying you have potential means you haven’t done anything yet.”
I first heard this quote from Coach Allen during freshman football 2-a-days. Although he said this so that we would pick up the pace during those tough practices, it was the foundation of my mentality for the next four years.
You see, when someone says you have potential, that describes a person who has a chance of accomplishing something great but has not yet. Potential means that the hard work has not been put in yet to become great. To become a champion.
In the four years I have wrestled at AHS, I have been a part of many successful teams. Coach Allen was always sure we stayed humble.
Countless times winning tournaments or Duals meant that it was time to pick up the intensity at practice. Instilling this in the wrestling program has been a huge part of our success.
We have some of the hardest working kids in our school on the wrestling team due to this mentality being carried out in our daily lives from the Allens drilling it into our heads.
Coach Allen’s number one interest at heart has always been the kids – always developing them into more than just good wrestlers, but also into becoming better students, workers and leaders.
I remember when we were driving home from the state tournament late one night and he said to me “the best part about my job is not watching y’all win wrestling matches but when I get invitations to college graduations or meeting your kids.”
Everyone knows you can’t wrestle forever, and Coach Allen wants the short four years we have in high school to wrestle to impact our lives in a positive way forever.
I want finish this by telling a recent story about how he has lately impacted my life.
On the way to the state tournament in February, I told coach I did not have an interest in wrestling in college. About a month later, I get a phone call from a college coach who said Coach Allen had talked to him about me and a few days later another one.
I told both coaches I had not thought about college wrestling much and no thanks. I told Coach again that I wasn’t interested that next day.
But he wouldn’t listen. He saw something in me that I didn’t see myself. He talked to a few more coaches at a tournament just a few weeks later.
I then talked to one of the coaches and Coach Allen who talked to me about down the road regretting opportunities I have denied.
I decided to take a scholarship to wrestle at Missouri Baptist. If I didn’t have Coach Allen looking out for my best interests even when I already told him multiple times I was not interested, I would not have the opportunity I have to further my education.

Sincerely,
Cody Donnell

Jack Baker
Dear Mr. Baker,

Thank you for all that you have done for me, which within these past years I cannot count. You helped me grow not only as a student but as a person as well.
Although I can be really awkward when we talk, I’m sure you can remember the days when I was too awkward to even look at you. Since then you’ve helped me come out of my shell, and I’d like to think that my current cool persona was inspired by the dumb way you giggle and your jokes that are painful to laugh at.
You’ve always let me learn from my mistakes and made me want to be better. You laughed at all my jokes and returned the favor when I really needed it. You were always the person I could talk to when things like a performance, an audition, or even life was just too much for me to handle.
I will never forget the heart-to-heart talks in your office and as annoying as it was, asking me “what’s wrong” until I eventually said it.
I will never forget the way you wave at me every morning, and times you helped me out with buzz rolls, X-camp, and senior night. You made me feel important when I couldn’t see it myself, and I will truly miss these moments when they are gone.
After all the hours of practicing and chilling out we’ve spent together, I believe that I will never meet another person quite like you. You have inspired me in ways I cannot begin to describe and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
You are the most positive, charismatic and funniest person who I have had the privilege to call my director and one of my best friends. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to know you and have you be the coolest role model in my life.
Thank you for knowing what I’m capable of and encouraging me to do better. Thank you for reaching out and asking how I’m feeling. Thank you for trusting me with advice. Thank you for being my advisor.
Thank you for everything you have done for me. I have and always will consider you as my biggest supporter.

Sincerely,
Daniela Salazar

Brandon Day
To Mr. Day,

If I were to name one person I have met in high school who has truly changed my life, it would without a doubt be YOU. You are one of the only consistent leaders present throughout my whole high school experience and I feel that we have been able to learn and grow together as each year has brought lots of change and new opportunities.
I remember my freshman year you were a visual tech for the MGP, helping the band improve on and off the field. While being an adult and a teacher automatically gave you my respect, your philosophy and knowledge are what granted my curiosity and admiration for the person that you are.
My sophomore year you became assistant band director, which was a dream come true. This gave me the opportunity to be in your band. That year, I made some very important decisions for the future of my band career. I tried out for section leader and practiced with more purpose than ever before, so that I could learn how to be a leader and person like you. And I can truly say that the most passionate point in my musical career was during the time I was in your band.
My junior year, as it is for most teenagers, was one of the hardest times that I have been through. With the transition of a new band director, becoming an upperclassmen and beginning my position as a section leader, on top of academics, my life became very stressful very quick.
But you were always there, as a strong mentor and understanding leader. When I felt troubled I would often find myself thinking about how Mr. Day would handle a situation, and this gave me the strength to choose the type of leader I would be. Finally, my senior year, I feel as I have been able to experience and truly understand the meaning and passion that a true leader holds. This year I have been able to spend the most time with you, which I cherish very much. Your office is one place I know I will always get the answers I’m looking for and laugh while I’m there.
Thank you for pursuing and teaching your passion. Seeing you do this has inspired me to find my own and to always trust the process.

Sincerely,
Emma Garcia

Tracey Knoll
Dear Mrs. Knoll,

I am writing this letter to say thank you.
For the last year your class has been the highlight of my day. As an aspiring finance major, your Dollars and Sense financial literacy class has sparked an interest to learn as much as I can about the subject and has allowed to me to confirm that I have chosen the right degree to pursue in college.
I can honestly say that your class has taught me something that I know I will get use out of in the future, and that is rare.
Thank you for always going above and beyond for me. The fact that you were so willing to help me with recommendation letters made a busy senior year that much easier.
By giving me an opportunity to help explain work in class to other students and by recommending me to run the business CTE booth at career day, you have made me a better leader and I am really appreciative of that.
Senior year has been full of some very difficult decisions, and deciding my post-graduation plans has certainly been the hardest to me, as you know.
I want to thank you for problem solving with me, hearing my ideas, and giving me input which helped me make a decision on a college that I feel confident I won’t regret. Any issue I was having, big or small, I knew I could take it to you and you would listen.
Thank you for being a great teacher, and a better friend.

Sincerely,
Bryce Stokes

Kacie Surratt
Ms. Suratt,

I was skeptical, at first, about taking your Algebra 2 class. Math is my worst subject and completing the summer work alone was a struggle.
However, I pushed myself to finish the packet and did not regret it for a second.
After spending two years in your classroom, for both Algebra II and PALS, I have been able to see just how amazing a teacher you are.
You have always offered clear explanations which made learning algebra so much easier. Notes were to the point and took up a minimal amount of time, allowing us to start on our work sooner and give us more time to practice.
To say learning the subject was breeze would be a flat out lie; however, the way you presented made for the best math-based learning experience I have had so far.
Your classroom has always had a relaxing atmosphere, and that is entirely due to your amazing personality. You’re such a kind person, never passing judgment or speaking negatively.
I am not one to exactly feel comfortable when talking to most teachers, but I have been able to approach you with ease. You have shown interest in students’ lives, and you have listened to so many long-winded stories. I appreciate your compassion and understanding.
I admire your ability to blend education and socialization.
While I would not say you are a hard teacher, you are definitely not a pushover. When work needs to get done, it gets done. When we have time to chill, we can do so. I have experienced so many teachers who are either too relaxed or too intense, and I believe you have created a wonderful learning environment that lands somewhere between these two extremes.
I truly hope that in the future of education there are more teachers like you.

Sincerely,
Nicole Elder

Brad Overton
Dear Coach Overton,

You have made such an impact on my life on and off the field.
First, you have made me a better and smarter softball player over the years. You are one of the main reasons my high school softball experience was so spectacular.
You believed in me from day one and always had my back. You gave purpose to every practice, workout, drill, etc. You made sure everything we put effort into was going to make us better.
We could not have been Bi-District champs this year without your constant support and encouragement.
Thank you for pushing me every day to be the best athlete I can be. You have allowed me to see my full potential.
Not only do I want to thank you for being a great softball coach but I also want to thank you for being an even better life coach.
You have taught me some very valuable life lessons, such as, it’s okay not to be perfect. I have always been very hard on myself, and you have helped me see that I am more productive when I am relaxed and having fun.
You have also taught me how important it is to be a good leader and role model. Because of your leadership, I have realized how truly important it is to pursue your dreams and never give up.
I look up to you and hope I am able to positively impact as many lives as you have.
There is not one person out there who can say that you never gave your best, and that is truly amazing.
I will take your advice and encouragement with me as I move on to the next chapter of my life, and I will pass it on to others.
Thank you so much for investing so much time in me and making sure I have the skills and tools I need to succeed in life. You are truly a blessing.

Sincerely,
Miranda Longbrake

Emily Chavoya
Mrs. Chavoya,

Thank you for a wonderful year. Now that I have taken your hospitality course, I feel prepared to step out into the world and follow my career path, wherever that path may lead me.
I would also like to thank you for putting a great deal of time, thought, and care into your course. It shows in the way your room is decorated, your very informative presentations, and most importantly, in how much I have learned over the course of this school year.
Your class has only made me increase my desire to be involved in the hospitality industry.
You have inspired me to work hard, and not give up on any of my goals. My outlook on the hospitality industry has shifted in a positive direction over the span of this year. You have shown me that there are many opportunities, and wonderful things to be involved with in the hospitality industry.
You have truly made an impact on my future and I will take what you taught me and put it to great use. Thank you for a wonderful introduction to a wonderful industry.

Sincerely,
Haygen Holbrooks

Sidnee Denman
Dear Mrs. Denman,

I am so blessed to have had you as my director for all four years of my high school dance career.
You’ve made such a positive impact on my life that has made me into the person I am today. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else as my director because we just get each other.
You are the most kind-hearted person I have ever met and I strive daily to one day become as kind-hearted and understanding as you.
I admire how strong of a women you are raising two boys/Randy and dealing with 40 crazy girls and their parents. Being a mother and a drill team director for sure isn’t one of the easiest jobs but you do it amazingly.
Having you as my drill team director is something I will always hold close to my heart because it is one of the main reasons for my success. Over these four years your dedication has not only made me a better dancer but also a better person in general.
You have taught me everything I need to know to succeed in anything. Your constant pushing me to become better is the reason I will be dancing at a collegiate level. I would not be going into Texas Wesleyan as a Gold line dancer if it wasn’t for you.
Lastly, I just to thank you.
Thank you for everything. Thank you for your dedication, all the wonderful memories, your kind heart, but most of all thank you for believing in me. I am so heartbroken that I won’t be spending another year as an Emerald Dazzler with you but I know you will touch so many other dancers’ lives like you’ve touched mine. And I promise I stopped and smellled all the roses. I love you D.

Sincerely,
Taylor Cobb

Patricia Jackson
Dear Coach Jackson,

It was a dreary November day in 2014. I was in White Settlement in the middle of one of the greatest challenges I had ever faced in my 14 years. It was at Brewer High School and my team was literally being crushed by the Lady Bears.
As I walked into half time, I heard a thunderous noise. I thought to myself “a bomb just went off or a car crashed into the building.” Either way, we were under attack.
Nope. It was just your clipboard hitting the ground. This is when I knew you would make an impact in my life.
I am writing this as a letter of gratitude for the influence you have had on my life.
Never before have I ever had a coach who would push me to my breaking point, but pull me right back up afterward. Never before have I ever had a coach who cared so much about their team that a referee would have to call a cop to stand next to them during a basketball game, not to mention the cop was half your size.
But most importantly, never have I ever had a coach teach me so many valuable life lessons than you did.
These past four years you have taught me to always stand for what I believe in, even if that meant I would be standing alone.
You have instilled in me a mindset that the sky’s the limit, and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.
You have never given up on me, and I am very appreciative for that. Even after taking a year off track, you pulled me out of retirement and continued to work with me.
You have taught me not to get mad and put so much pressure on myself in everything I do. You have always looked after me as if I was your own child, and that is something I will never forget.
I will always treasure the time we had together and the many memories that were made, such as me falling and sliding while triple-jumping over a cone that seemed to be 100 feet tall, or me constantly harassing you about being a “Rodeo Queen.”
I will use the life lessons you taught me at a young age as I continue my journey through life. The impact you have left on me is one that will never be forgotten.
Thank you for being the amazing coach you are, and I only hope that you impact your future athletes in the way you impacted me. Thank you for everything, and I will definitely miss you.

Sincerely,
Payton Geary

Pam Jungman
Dr. Jungman,

One day I was using one of your balances for a project in one of my other classes. It was just the two of us in your classroom that afternoon, and I realized I had never asked you why you teach high school when you have a PhD.
I mean, teaching college students or working at a university is usually what people who have PhDs do, so I never really understood why you were teaching at a public school instead of some prestigious college.
So I did. I asked why.
You explained that yes, you would make more money and you are qualified to teach at a university, but you loved working with younger students.
And yeah, people with PhDs are typically supposed to do work that’s higher up than the high school education system, but that’s not what you felt like you were meant to do.
I remember specifically that you said this: “People shouldn’t do the thing they’re supposed to do, they should do the thing they’re meant to do.
What if I could get a student to fall in love with chemistry?”
I never really got over that answer. You said “what if” like you don’t have an entire wall in your classroom filled with Top Ten letters.
You said “what if” as though you haven’t spent your career doing that very thing!
You’re not just some teacher that throws together lesson plans at the last minute and is astounded when their students are frustrated with the fact that their teacher doesn’t deserve a paycheck.
You show up to class every morning ready to teach (even if it’s Hell Fortnite before the AP exam and you forgot your ID) and you inspire your students to learn.
I didn’t just pick you as my favorite teacher for this dinner because you have “impacted my education in some way.”
I chose you on behalf of the thousands of students you have taught in your classes over the years – the thousands of students you have impacted.
I don’t think I can say that I’ve willingly walked into any other teacher’s class multiple times per week to ask questions about what we are learning besides yours. I have never been motivated by other teachers in such a way.
I don’t think I would have completely changed my lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian to becoming a pharmacologist if I had had a different chemistry teacher.
I don’t think I would have studied as hard as I did for the AP Chemistry exam or would have been so successful if I had some other teacher that was only there to pay the bills.
I don’t think I would have decided to give up an hour of practicing my music every day at school in order to be a lab manager where I would have you as my mentor.
I’m running out of space on this page, so I’ll conclude with this: I hope you understand that you don’t have to say “what if” when you talk about your career, because you do get your students to love chemistry.
Thank you so much for the inspiration you have given me over the last three years — from the first day I sat down in your class as a nervous, clueless sophomore, to all of the times when I was almost in tears from AP Chemistry, to every Snack Day I’ve had as a lab manager this year, and finally to when I graduate at the end of this month.

I will never be able to thank you enough,
Sierra Carlson

PS- Expect an email from me when I’m in college dying from my first O Chem class!

Keith Boenisch
Dear Coach Boenisch,

I’m writing this letter to thank Coach Boenisch.
Without him I wouldn’t be where I am academically and in cross country and track. When I was in 6th grade I always wanted to be a sprinter but Coach Boenisch would never let me. Looking back on it I still wish I was a sprinter.
Coach saw the potential in me as a 6th grader, from letting me work out with the high school cross country team as an 8th grader to waking up every morning at 6:45 to work out.
It wasn’t always a smooth ride but coach has always worked as hard as he could to make sure I was the best I could be and I can’t even began to describe how grateful I am. Without him pushing me I wouldn’t have had the collegiate scholarship opportunities I have at Tarleton State University. These enduring long distance workouts have taught me the value of work ethic that I can carry with me through life and whatever future jobs I have.
Being with Coach and being put through workouts that at the time seem impossible taught me that I can overcome any obstacle in my path. Through this I can say without a doubt that I have the skills to overcome any obstacle I encounter.
I have been running for Coach Boenisch for the last six years and it has been a great experience that has pushed my competitive nature even more. With that being said, I can’t wait to take the skills he taught me to go compete at the collegiate level.

Sincerely,
Cody Drolet

Bo Maines
Dear Coach Maines,

Throughout my four years at Azle High School I have been influenced by many great people. There are so many teachers, administrators, and coaches that have molded me into who I am today.
But no one has made an impact on my life like you have.
As a teacher, you have taught me a lot in the classroom. From history to government to economics. I was fortunate enough to be in your class my junior and senior year. I learned a lot in class, but I hate to admit that one day, I might forget some of what you taught me.
But there are some things I have learned from you that I will never forget.
Through football you taught me to be a leader, hard worker, and servant to God.
You led by example. I look up to you and so do all the other D-Lineman.
You are a huge influence on your players’ lives and I hope you see all the good that you do.
I will never forget how we would pray as a group before every football game. That means a lot to me and it is a memory I cherish.
Thank you for always being there for me when I needed someone to talk to.
I aspire to be a great father like you are in the future. You aren’t just my teacher, you aren’t just my coach, you are family.

Sincerely,
Andrew Lutz

Nicole Murray
Dear Mrs. Murray,

You were my 4th grade teacher and you set me on the right path for school. I have become a better student because of you and I have also become a better man because of you.
Reading and English have always been my least favorite subject but you made it easier for me and I was able to do better all throughout the rest of school.
You made me an all-around better student and encouraged me to excel at everything that I am a part of.
Then you were my High School counselor and you were able to instill in my life goals.
You were my encourager and helped me to pursue my career path which was engineering but you know that I have now changed it ministry. And with you knowing that you have still continued to prepare me and encourage me along this career path.
I still look back and laugh at my 4th grade class when Bryce, Cody and I would sit at the front and sing Journey.
You made school fun for me and you always looked out for me and had my back.
I appreciate everything that you have done for me and I would not be the student and man that I am today. I have truly been blessed to be able to call you my 4th grade teacher and my counselor all throughout high school.

Sincerely,
Spencer Wendell

Tiffany Shaw
Dear Doc Shaw,

Going into senior year, I was most excited to be in your class, Doc Shaw.
I hardly knew what I was getting myself into at the time, I just knew I would get a few health care licenses, and some job opportunities from it.
I didn’t know all that I would see, all that I would do, and most of all I didn’t know how close we would become.
In the last ten months you have taught me how to save a life, care for people who are incapable to care for themselves, perform an EKG, analyze heart rhythms, and draw blood. But that is just what you are paid to teach me.
You have also gone out of your way to teach me how to love my neighbor, have patience, and find happiness in even the hardest times. These are things some people never learn in their lifetime; I am so lucky to have been taught them by example.
A mentor is how many would describe you, but I would say a friend. I know if I ever need council you will be there for me with my best interest in mind, as you have so many times before.
The trust I have in you is equivalent to the trust I can see you have in me. After all, we have been through spurting blood, sweat, and tears together.
Now looking back at the times you have been my guinea pig, I’m not sure if you should trust me so much.
As my next journey grows closer I feel that you have prepared me for anything college may throw at me. If you can teach over 75 kids to be Certified Nurses Aids, EKG Technicians, Phlebotomists, Patient Care Technicians, and Pharmacy Technicians all in one year, while working late nights and early mornings as an athletic trainer, being a mom and wife, and living a Godly life, I think I can handle 15 hours a semester.
You amaze me with how much you do and how well you do it all. I can’t thank you enough for being such a positive influence on my life and opening so many doors for me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Katelyn Brothers

Eric Brentz
Dear Coach Brentz,

I suppose that junior high is not the best of times for anyone and as a junior high teacher you see us through some of our worst years.
As you might remember, it was especially difficult for me as I had just been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. Along with the normal struggles of growing up, I was prematurely facing an existential crisis about my intelligence and my future – a crisis that I was not prepared to face at that age.
While I was blessed with athletic and musical abilities that kept me at the top of sports and band, my worries were academic. As my Math and Science Team coach, you showed faith in me and gave me the support that I needed to shine.
You understood that athletics and band were important for me and never made me feel bad for having a busy schedule. You stayed after school for so many days so that I could take practice tests and you could help me with things that I did not understand.
Never once did you make me question how smart I was or allow me to doubt my own intelligence.
The extra help you provided in junior high led me to continue Math and Science Team in high school, giving me eight years as a member of Azle’s teams. Your coaching led to a collection of ribbons and medals and trophies – but more importantly, you sent me on to high school far more secure in my own abilities.
I never hesitated to sign up for an AP class, I wasn’t afraid of not being able to succeed, nor did I worry nearly so much about my future.
I am sorry that I am not at the Top 10 Dinner with you tonight, but those junior high lessons of fearlessness have opened doors for me. I am in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for my second time qualifying as an International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist.
Without the foundation of strength and curiosity you instilled in me, I would not be here.
Thank you for the countless hours spent after school, the repetition of materials without protest, the faith to see I was capable but most importantly thank you for helping to create the confidence in me that I need to be successful as I go off to Rice University and out into the world.

Sincerely,
Ainsley McDonald-Boyer

Stephanie Jordan-Levy
Dear Ms. JL,

When I walked into your class the first day of school it wasn’t with joy or excitement, but with apprehension.
The upperclassmen had told me horror stories that consisted of you making them write a research paper and do writing exercises. I was not looking forward to the year to say the least; however, it would turn out to be one of the most influential years of my schooling.
English was my least favorite subject when I began your class even though I have always loved reading. The problem was English itself. I could never get what I was thinking onto the paper or even make it sound coherent, so when I heard about the writing exercises I was terrified.
While I did struggle at first and I still don’t know in which order the comma and semicolon go in a complex sentence, I improved as a writer and I stopped loathing every writing assignment. The research paper that I feared all year was over a difficult subject for an 8th grader – the Holocaust.
While researching specific topics I came across the Japanese internment. I was shocked that the US government had done such a thing and I had never heard about it.
When I asked you if I could pick it as my topic even though it wasn’t the holocaust you let me run with it. I learned a great deal doing that research paper and it gave my outlook on the world a new perspective.
Not only did your class make a big impact on learning I also made some of my greatest friends in your class doing dumb things such as insulting each other with vocab words when you gave us time to study.
While I have drifted apart from some of those friends and some of them have moved, one of them is here tonight and our competition is the reason that I am here tonight.
So thank you for influencing not only my writing, but my outlook on the world. Thanks to you, English is now one of my favorite subjects and it has been my highest grade all throughout high school.

Sincerely,
Logan Hutton

Jeff Tschoepe
Dear Mr. Tschoepe,

Throughout the two years that I have been in your class, I have learned more than I ever thought I would.
Your class has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging throughout my high school career, but that is one of the reasons that I enjoyed it so much.
Thanks to you, I feel confident and prepared to begin the next chapter in my academic journey.
The past two years, you have helped shape me into who I am today. You have always pushed me to work my hardest in all my endeavors.
I am thankful for the times that you have spent your 8th period working through problems with me. I remember there were times when I was so frustrated that I wanted to just give up, but you helped me work through the problems step by step until I understood the material.
You have taught me that giving up should never be the answer.
I look forward to going to your class every day. Each day I learn something new and I always leave feeling smarter and excited about the knowledge I have gained.
I have learned much more than just math in your class. You helped me realize that the best person you can be is yourself and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you.
Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher because I saw the impact that teachers had on their students.
You remind me of why I wanted to become a teacher.
This year especially, you have impacted me in so many ways, whether it was supporting me as I worked towards being on the district team for number sense or giving me boy advice or dressing up as a cactus with Marlee and I.
You have become more than just a teacher to me, you have become my friend.
You have not only made me a better student, but a better person. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to learn and grow as your student for two years.
I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for me.

Sincerely,
Kelly Jo Thetford

Bert Trevino
Dear Coach Trevino,

You have been one of the most influential people in my life and have helped me become a better person – whether I was on the court in practice where you helped me become a stronger basketball player or in school where you taught me to always have confidence in what I do.
You made me realize that I am more important than I might even know.
You were so constantly proud of me even when I wasn’t proud of myself. Your encouragement and insight has made me a superior athlete and student. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you.
I remember after a basketball tournament in pre-season one time, I had felt like I played the worst I ever played. The thought of quitting was on my mind and then you came up to me and told me how proud of me you were and that I should keep at it and practice because I had so much potential.
You reminded me why I played in the first place, to always put everything I could, into what I do.
Your words of encouragement in basketball translated into my schoolwork as well. I worked harder in school because you let me know I have an important future that I had to fight for.
While being in sports I held good grades because you were there, reassuring me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. I have more confidence and hopefulness in myself then I’ve ever had thanks to your constant inspiration and kind words.
I just want to thank you for always being there for me as a mentor and for being such a positive influence.
I will always be thankful for continuing my basketball career in high school because I wouldn’t have the confidence and perseverance I have today thanks to you.
You’re an extraordinary coach and an even more extraordinary mentor.

Sincerely,
Maria Parkison

Shayna Reasoner
Dear Ms. Reasoner,

To sum up what the next two hundred words are going to (attempt to) more eloquently say: thank you.
Thank you, Ms. Reasoner.
For staying with us these couple of years. For being the “imperfect” adult that you are.
Because I can assure you that is why you are so beloved, by both math team and your students.
On a personal note though, I owe you an apology.
I’m sorry.
Because I know that when you decided to become a teacher, you did not sign up to deal with hysterical juniors (who accidentally run away in the middle of the night) or pigheaded seniors (who still get lost coming back from number sense tests).
You didn’t plan to play 20 questions with the noisy and nosy children in the back seats or spend way too much of your time trying to accommodate these children instead of telling them to suck it up.
But I am extremely grateful to you for doing all of the above. These examples show your endless kindness and compassion for others.
You always try your best to make others feel welcome and at home. Through math team and through you, I have learned that life is not about the number of awards we obtain or the breakthroughs we accomplish, but the number of hearts we touch, that will ultimately measure our success in life.
Thank you Ms. Reasoner, for touching my heart and changing my life. I know you will continue to do so for thousands of others in the future.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Wang


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