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A Tribute to Three Heroes

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I have been lucky enough in my life to have had three distinct educational heroes. They all pushed me in different areas, and I believe that they are some of the main reasons that I have been able to be who I am today.

Throughout my life, I have had a few art teachers. Some, although very skilled, put off my interest in the subject. They made it seem less enjoyable and more like a task. I was fortunate enough to have had Danielle Troy-Stuart for multiple classes throughout high school and middle school. She fostered in me a love for art that I still have today. She created an environment that helped me love to learn about different methods, mediums, techniques, and styles. I know that art is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life, and I have her to thank for keeping that alive.

Learning a new language can seem daunting, and speaking it in a foreign country can honestly be cripplingly intimidating. When I was a sophomore in high school, I was given the opportunity to travel to Spain with some other Spanish students to do a two week exchange-type program. I was to be traveling with my teacher of two years, Kelli Van Vleet Pleskac. Her work in the classroom was always engaging and fun, and traveling to Spain with her was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. She helped me gain confidence in communication skills in the Spanish language, which ultimately made me more confident in all-around communication, regardless of the language.

In my junior year, my English class was taught by a woman whose enthusiasm for learning was absolutely infectious. Ellen Zarter taught me how to write thought-provoking essays that I was actually passionate about. She helped me connect to the readings in a way that made me interested to find the themes and meanings behind every story being told. My writing skills improved immensely, and I became excited to write more. I have always been an avid reader, so it was refreshing to be excited about discussing the works we were reading in class. Being taught this love of reading and writing at a younger age was pivotal in my education process.

These three lovely ladies have each helped me become who I am today, and I am eternally grateful for the impact they have had on me.


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