Our mission is to share stories about teachers who have elevated people’s lives, strengthened communities, inspired a passion for their subjects, and enabled students to attain what they thought was unattainable.



Teacher Stories
Pamela Dawson Grammy Image

As the 2023 Grammy Award-winning Music Educator of the Year, Pamela Dawson has made it her mission to harness the power of music to connect students with diverse backgrounds and skill levels. With over 27 years of experience in teaching, Dawson has learned to create a safe and nurturing environment for her students, fostering a strong sense of community and belonging. "I think the most important...

Bruce pict

Bruce Stewart is a life-long educator who dedicated his career to social justice and high-quality education for all. As a history teacher and guidance counselor at Walter Hines Page Senior High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, he led the effort to desegregate the school 1963. Stewart became a Quaker educator and later served as Head of School at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. from...

Fred Shoemaker

Fred Shoemaker is considered one of America's best golf teachers, but in this provocative conversation about teaching, learning, and life you'll discover how his success has come by helping students discover their own capacities for performance and enjoyment and not by fixing what's wrong with their golf swings. 

Much of what Fred has learned can be applied to parenting, coaching, and classroom...

Victor Rios pict

At age 14, Victor Rios' best friend is shot and killed. Afterwards, Victor thought, "I am going to end up dead like him or in prison for life." But Victor turns his life around after having a high school technology teacher named, Ms. Russ. He goes on to college, earns a Ph.D. in sociology, and becomes a professor at U.C. Santa Barbara.  

In this podcast episode, Dr. Rios reflects on his...

Rachelle Auld

Rachell Auld shares an amazing story about her career path and how it was shaped by Dr. John Rosario from Riverside City College. This story is about finding one's true calling.

Teacher Appreciations

Have you ever wanted to show your appreciation for a teacher that altered your life? Show your appreciation and share your experience with the world!

Rich Yumul appreciates Mrs. Benedetta Dalbesio, a teacher at SINALOA MIDDLE in Novato, CA

I simply have really fond memories of being in her Jazz Band in 7th and 8th grade. It was a lot of fun and she made waking up early and braving morning traffic with my saxophone strapped to the back of my bike worth it. Now that I have kids of my own, I have new appreciation of her ability to motivate and teach music to a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds at 7:30 min the morning. That is straight up magical. Thank you Ms. Dalbesio for being a great teacher!

Joy Pelton appreciates Prof. Leon Litwack, a teacher at UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY in Berkeley, CA

Professor Leon Litwack has received many personal and professional accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for his history of American slavery's aftermath, "Been in the Storm So Long." My voice of appreciation for him as my teacher joins the resounding chorus. Litwack insisted on teaching introductory history courses for freshmen at Berkeley for over 40 years, a “chore” usually foisted on the most junior members of the faculty. In the late 60s, I was lucky to be one of the 500 students in

Natalie Barnard appreciates Mr. Andy Powell, a teacher at CHASKA HIGH SCHOOL in Chaska, MN

The most influential teacher in my life was my high school teacher, Mr. Andy Powell. Before every class, he would spend the first 10-minutes discussing current events. With a warm smile and a light in his eye, Mr. Powell would enthusiastically ask us to share a story that we had read in the newspaper. It was a brilliant way to get us reading, get us talking, and ultimately get us thinking critically. He let us have a voice, gave space for opinions without being wrong or right. He engaged us with

Mark Abulencia appreciates Mrs. Emily Gates, a teacher at SAN MARIN HIGH in Novato, CA

To this day, Mrs. Emily Gates is still one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. During the 7 years I followed her baton in band, choir, or musical theatre, I learned new ways to express myself among a phenomenal community of fellow classmates and parent volunteers. Her classes, concerts, shows, and trips were the backbone of so many happy school memories!

Michael McGuire appreciates Mr. Robert Selinske, a teacher at MENLO-ATHERTON HIGH in Atherton, CA

I had a tough time in high school. When I was 17 the Viet Nam war was raging and I in turn raged against the war, a rebel with a cause, deeply disturbed by my country’s engagement in that immoral conflict, and it’s shameful willingness to sacrifice the lives of untold thousands of young men because of some specious domino theory. I was battling wars at home as well. My parents had recently discovered I was gay and an atheist, and their conservative Catholic Republican values were severely

Tiina Kurvi appreciates Mr. Juan Redondo, a teacher at INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MONTEREY in Seaside, CA

I would like to recognize and send my appreciation to Mr. Redondo for his dedication to the education of all students at the International School of Monterey. I especially want to thank him for supporting my daughter in developing her math skills. Last year when my daughter was in 7th grade, Mr. Redondo saw her diligent work and love of math and encouraged her to enter an algebra class to keep growing her math knowledge. Not only did he see this opportunity for growth and challenge, Mr. Redondo

Morgan Kristy appreciates Miss Heather Vickers, a teacher at INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MONTEREY in Seaside, CA

Thank you, Ms. Vickers, for being such an awesome, loving, caring teacher for my 6th-grade homeroom class. I enjoyed attending your classes every day and I would get so pumped up when I had your next class. You always made things fun and never let anyone down. You showed true happiness as a teacher and I appreciate that. I was always happy in your class and you always did activities that would blow me and the class away. I thank you for the time we spent together and the class. Thank you for

Allison Miller appreciates Mrs. Courtney Ferch, a teacher at SPRECKELS ELEMENTARY in Spreckels, CA

Prior to my daughter embarking on her Kindergarten journey, there was a lot of apprehension and unwillingness to begin her first year of school, especially virtually, due to the pandemic. However, once she saw a picture of Mrs. Ferch and learned more about her “favorite things,” our daughter became more excited about starting Kindergarten. Mrs. Ferch has become a rock-star in our home and has created a bridge with virtual learning that is able to make the kids feel connected to each other and

Gretchen van Eeghen appreciates Mrs. Heidi de Bellis, a teacher at SPRECKELS ELEMENTARY in Spreckels, CA

My twin girls started 1st grade this fall during the pandemic and wildfires. To say I was a bit nervous is an understatement. However, when we learned that Mrs. de Bellis was our girls’ teacher, we were told by their kindergarten teacher that she is fantastic and teaches from the heart. And didn’t that turn out to be the truth! Mrs. de Bellis is one of our families’ biggest blessings this year! How she cares and loves each of her students while teaching them to read, write and do math is amazing

Karina Figueroa-Ramirez appreciates Sra. Andrea Ickes-Dunbar, a teacher at BARRY ELEMENTARY in Yuba City, CA

You were my 7/8th grade English teacher at Barry. You were also my Spanish choir/music teacher who taught me to sign the alphabet and to sing a variety of children's songs in Spanish, I still sing to my own children this day. Thank you for picking me up and dropping me off at my home to attend the Festival de la Gente in Sacramento and perform. I read all the greeting/holiday cards you had posted on the left side of your classroom. I loved reading them all. I also loved all the dichos. Because

Everyone has a story. What's Yours?

If you are a student, a former student, or an educator and have an interesting story about your experience, please tell us about it. We’ll figure out how to turn it into a podcast episode.

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