A Thank You to all the Teachers who helped me Graduate

May 18, 2016

I told myself I wouldn’t write a cliche end of the year column. I felt that my other columns from earlier in the year summarized senior year pretty well, and I didn’t think I needed to add to it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that despite all that, there are a few people I need to thank. Okay, maybe more than a few, but I’d especially like to thank all of my teachers. But if I did that, this column would become a three hundred page book. For that reason, I’m going to keep it to a somewhat short list. From those before high school, to the ones who pushed me through senior year, here’s some thank yous to the teachers who helped me and motivated me in my educational journey.

Thank you to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson. You took my brother and I under your wing and made our first year in Forest Hills a very memorable one. You opened your arms to us, even though it wasn’t very convenient that we came in the middle of the school year. You also helped me become best friends with someone that I’m happy to say I still am close with today. Twelve years of friendship, and all because she and I ended up in your class. I’m forever grateful to you for that, and for your sweet kindness.

Thank you to my fifth grade teacher, Mrs.Ten Eyck. When you realized I didn’t know very many kids in the class, you fixed the problem and made sure I had friendly people around me and made sure that I was happy. You read one of the best adventure books to us, and I’ll never forget the grand adventures and interesting characters in Kiki Strike. You put forth so much effort to make sure that each and every one of your students was doing okay and fully enjoying their fifth grade year. Your humor is something I will always remember.

Thank you to my sixth grade teachers, Mrs. Hanson and Ms. Belding. Our team of classes was such a great, hilarious crowd, and I’m still so, so thankful that you two decided to switch some of us around halfway through the year. If you hadn’t moved me from Mrs.Hanson’s homeroom to Ms. Belding’s, I wouldn’t have become as close with some people I’m now proud to call my best friends. I wouldn’t have the memories that I now strongly cherish. From Book Bowl, to giraffe cakes, to raffles, to the end of the year awards where you two named me the class “peacemaker”, sixth grade was a fun year that I hold close to my heart. Thank you both for leaving such a positive impact on my life.

Thank you to my middle school choir teacher, Mrs. Kriekard. Choir was a nice break in the day from regular school, and always had a fun, exciting atmosphere. Your positive energy in the classroom and drill sergeant orders on concert day are memories I still look back on when I need a bit of encouragement to keep going. You’re one of the most motivational people I’ve ever met. I’m grateful to have spent three years connecting with music with someone as inspirational as you.

Thank you to Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. Chadderdon for sharing my love of books and teaching me about the importance of literature. You both found ways to connect whatever we were reading to the reality of a high schooler’s life, which made English class much more enjoyable. I loved sharing my personal library with you both and discussing whichever series one of you had borrowed from me. In a world where everything is digital, you both helped to keep my love of reading alive. Thank you both for being such wonderful people.

And lastly, thank you to Mr. George. Thank you for helping me find my niche at FHC as a writer for The Central Trend. Thank you for teaching a class that allowed me to put my constant need to write to good use. You constantly critiqued my writing and pushed me to keep going and improving, from my first, sloppy, horrible article that I wrote sophomore year in Writing for Publication 1 to this final senior column. I’ve grown so much as a person and a writer because of you and The Central Trend. Having never done sports or any clubs or teams, TCT provided me with a community/family that gave me sense of belonging. TCT became my favorite part of the day, and the lovely people on staff became my team. The many memories I have from spending three years in room 139 with everyone are some of my favorites. I’m sorry to leave it all behind.

In conclusion, if I had you as a teacher and you were not mentioned, I’m still grateful to you for helping me in my educational journey. The teachers in Forest Hills are truly the best. As I move on to college next year, I’ll look back on what I had at FHC, and use it to encourage me when I need it. I made it twelve years down this path. It’s time to go forward and see what the future brings.

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  • H

    Holly HansonMay 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you for mentioning me in your article! That was a fun year and one that has many good memories. I am glad that you remember it fondly as I do you! Good luck in your future endeavors!

  • M

    Michele WallaceMay 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Thank YOU for sharing your love of reading with me. I loved the Divergent serious and cried on Spring Break over Fault in our Stars. Keep writing and bringing your kind, genuine, caring nature into other people’s lives. Congratulations on your graduation!

    Mrs. Wallace

  • R

    Rob PenningMay 19, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Having had students like Kendra is what made teaching in Forest Hills so fantabulous!

  • P

    Pam KriekardMay 19, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Kendra! Thank you for the kind words! You are going to go far in this beautiful life that God has blessed you with! You are a gift to all of us!