Recently my former teacher Mr. Gross put a nice message about me on Facebook; saying he enjoys listening to me and encouraging others to listen as well. I didn’t ask him to do this, he did it because he cares… a lot about lil’ old me one of his thousands of students that have come through Shepherd High School. That post brought back some high school feelings that I hadn’t had in quite some time. When I was in high school, well lets just say that I wasn’t class president, to put it nicely I didn’t show up a lot and lacked motivation.
There were teachers who weren’t so kind (I was a jerk to stick up for them), many teachers would lose interest and maybe just pretend you weren’t there; and that can be detrimental to a teenager. Then there are teachers like Lisa Antcliff, Jay Gross, and Jill Chaney. No knock on any of the teachers I have had throughout my many years of schooling, but these three went above and beyond and helped shape the person I am today and I think they deserve some love!
Ms. Antcliff was a substitute teacher my Freshman and even then she was the teacher that was not afraid to keep it real with me. She wouldn’t sugar coat anything and tell you what you needed to hear. Somehow, along with that she is also the most approachable female authority figure I ever knew growing up. I was and am still not afraid to talk to her about anything, and always appreciated the advice she gives me. She even convinced me to be a substitute teacher at Shepherd, an experience that really showed me how hard the job of a teacher truly is, how big of an impact even a substitute can have on a kids life, as well as how rewarding teaching can be.
Jill Chaney- I mentioned my lack of attendance and as a teen and I found trouble like a fish finds water…there were times that I was completely out of school from time to time. However, there was one constant through all my years at Shepherd. Science class with Ms Chaney. I never felt comfortable in high school (my own fault), except for Ms. Chaney’s classroom…That was the one class I felt like I was in the right place. A lot of that had to do with the way she carries herself, she treated everyone with the respect you treat your grandparents with. I am not sure if she is into aliens, but she would walk right up to a martian and start having an everyday conversation like she was talking to an old friend. Her class was also the one where I rarely lacked motivation, because she made it fun and real! From going to the Forest Hill Nature Area to testing the Salt River, she made class exciting which made school exciting.
Having those two be my teachers in high school was an absolute blessing…They were great teachers, but were also like older sisters (shout out to my real sister Amy) with how much they cared for me.
Mr Gross- If Ms. Antcliff and Ms Chaney were my older sisters, then Mr Gross was definitely like my older brother. I can remember doing…while a lot of push ups in his class for this or that. Many teachers could have had me sent out of class or possibly even suspended for some of the dumb things I did, but he wanted me there. So instead he made me do push ups. I can remember having to get notes copied from someone else because I had to keep doing push ups through his lecture. He also wasn’t afraid to tell me what I didn’t really want to hear, but needed to. True story my Dad calls Mr Gross after I refused to go to school one morning. Mr Gross tells me that he is going to come pick me up out of my bed and carry me to first hour. I definitely made it to class that day. He also did an excellent job of preparing me for college. I didn’t go right after school, but when I did the place I excelled was English, in particular writing essays. Not only did he help get me through high school, but in a big way he helped me through college from what I learned in his class.
I could go on and on remembering things that these three teachers have done for me whether that be in high school or after. There were three great teachers and now three great friends. To the three of you thanks and I love ya’ll! To everyone who was able to read this please reach out to the teachers that mad a difference in your life!