Bob Futernick, former Associate Director of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, sends a thank you note to his high school art teacher, Neil Bohr -- 50 years after taking his class.
John Lescroart is a New York Times best-selling novelist who says that he might be still be a typist in a law office--or, possibly, homeless were it not for his English teacher, Father Stadler at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California.
Until becoming a teenager, Karina Figueroa-Ramirez had never had a teacher who shared her cultural background or looked like her. That changed when she was assigned to a Latinx English teacher in 7th grade who supported Karina's interest in books, who listened to her, and who challenged her to imagine a different future. Nearly 20 years later, in a very different educational setting, Karina is paying forward the gift she received from a caring and inspiring educator. She also remains in touch with this teacher who has since retired.
Emili works with a teacher in South Central Los Angeles who helps a young, angry high school student deal with her emotions--through dance. This teacher story is about trust, the freedom to fail, and how the arts can transform lives.
Robert Nelsen was content to work on his ranch in Montana and to ride in the rodeo. As "punishment" for being a "smart ass," Nelsen's high school teacher made him apply for college. Now Dr. Nelsen is now president of one of California's largest public universities.
Brian Rankin's high school physics teacher lies on a bed of nails. He then places a cinder block on his chest and asks Brian to smash it with a sledge hammer -- all to demonstrate a key physics principle to his students. Brian is now a physicist using laser technology to solve real-world problems.
Nikki Ahrenstorff had been homeless for many years. Mr. Childs, her high school English teacher, changed her life.
After graduating from high school, Gabe launched his own catering company. He credits Chef Inks, his high school Culinary Arts teacher, for showing him what it takes to prepare high quality food and to run a successful business. Gabe also works part time as a teacher alongside Chef Inks and hopes to obtain a teaching credential in the near future.
Efrain Solis, a professional opera singer, honors his high school music and drama teacher who helped him discover his voice.
Jon Lehrman's 40-year career as a doctor was shaped by a medical school teacher who challenged Jon to think about his purpose in becoming a doctor.
Gwen Reid develops a passion for "cowboy poetry"...in her sixties. Her junior high summer school teacher and great grandmother had a lot to do with this.
Marvin Reed, pictured here with his students, reflects on his first year as a third-grade teacher -- the only African American educator in his school in a diverse neighborhood in Berkeley, California.