Gail Pelsnik! I had her in 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to get her so many years in a row. She followed me from junior high to high school and she was a hoot. On the first day of class, she had her rules written on the board and they were: no laughing, keep your head down, and do your work. Then at the very bottom, it said, “I don’t like kids.” It broke the ice and got everyone laughing. She was great because she realized that we were going to be kids and she worked with that. It was easier to learn in her class because she tailored her teaching to the individual personalities.
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Mr. Valencia was my 6th grade teacher. Back then, you had the same teacher for every class. He made learning so much fun! I had just moved to Seattle – I moved three times that year – and he made me feel comfortable. He even took us camping! That was back when teachers could take students camping. Oh, and he had a glass eye that he would pop out! I loved his outlook. That was when school became fun for me.
I had a 5th grade teacher named Mr. Gavinsky. He taught history and was just one of those really nice teachers. His class wasn’t hard, but maybe that’s because I was interested in history. I do know that he furthered my love of history. That’s something I carried into college and beyond.
The teacher that influenced my life the most was undoubtedly my mom, Linda Heacock. I was dyslexic and she was a dyslexia therapist. If it weren’t for her and the dedication and commitment she showed to me, I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful academically.