There is nothing more valuable than an inspirational teacher.

This past summer I attended my 30-year high school class reunion. I enjoyed seeing and visiting with old friends as if time had never passed. We laughed at old memories; we mourned those classmates who are no longer with us; and we talked about the teachers that helped mold us to the people we are today. Of the three hours or so we were together, the topic of teachers dominated the conversation. We talked about each individual teacher and how they influenced us to this day. I reflect back on my teachers often.

Recently I accompanied my teenage son and attended the funeral of a young man that passed away much too early in life. As we looked for a seat, we were motioned by several teachers we knew from the middle school the young man attended to sit with them. As part of the funeral proceedings, those in attendance were invited to an open microphone to share experiences they had with the young man. All but five of the remarks shared that day were shared by family members. The five people who were not family members who stood to share a memory were school teachers of the young man. I later learned additional school teachers petitioned to be in attendance, but not enough substitute teachers could be found.

Teachers are amazing. Thank you, teachers, old and present for your inspiration, counseling and for loving our children.

Paul Haacke

Idaho Falls