Originally published Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 07:30p.m.

I would take this opportunity now that my four years in high school are up to thank the principal, the kitchen staff, the security guards, and teachers of Lee Williams High School for four years of wonderful memories and experience. I would also like to thank the teachers who were part of the effort to help me graduate from high school. It is common to hear and read in the newspapers about shootings in the high schools, teachers having sexual relationships with students, and abuse or bullying in schools, but hardly anybody takes the time to praise the good teachers who go above-and-beyond to help students achieve their goals independently from the classes they are teaching that year.

I would like to thank Principal Gretchen Dorner, who is finishing her time at Lee Williams to further her career, and for listening so closely to my needs. I would like to thank the kitchen staff, particularly Carol, Jessica and Patrick, for their heroic labor dealing with 2,000 students with smiles on their faces day after day without fail. To the smiling custodian Jim for his tireless time and effort to upkeep cleanliness, and maintenance, even though some of my classmates were not the cleanest partners. To Debbie, our security guard, who cares and guards even through the freezing winters, the scorching heat of summer, the cold of fall, and the breeze of spring. To my transient teacher, Mr. Dogma, who was only with us for a short time, but left a very memorable and long-lasting impression about science. To the three teachers who taught small lessons, showed interest in the lives of the students and showed interest in the personal wellbeing of the students: Mr. Reiman, my Algebra I teacher, Mr. Longbrake my Biology teacher, and Mr. Dorner my Medical Terminology teacher.

Particularly, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart some of the teachers who have been absolutely remarkable throughout all my years of education: Mrs. Rachel Smith, who was an amazing math teacher from K12 learning academy; Mrs. Piper, who was a patient history teacher from Hybrid K12 learning academy; Mrs. Giles, who was the director of KOLA, who helped save my year, taught me to discipline myself, and to work hard to achieve my goals. To my outstanding freshman English teacher, Ms. Lindsey Bryant, who I am deeply sorry that we, the students, are losing such a great teacher who has so much to give to students in Kingman. An all-star teacher Mr. Rodney Cody, who was my FBLA coordinator and business teacher all four years of my high school, his classroom was my safe haven. He took the time to find out how he could help his students to open their eyes to what the business world was all about.

This is an exhortation to all of my classmates, the graduates of 2019, and to the parents of Kingman, to come forward and publicly thank the teachers and staff who have done good things for you, to say how they have helped you to reach your goal. Be grateful for their effort and time, because these teachers were not chosen to teach for how good they research the class they teach, but for the love they have for us.

Let us stand up and give an ovation to the teachers who were good to you. Come forward, and let them know that you appreciate them. Let’s appreciate them so they may stay instead of leave. Let’s create a community of grateful and successful citizens.