It's teacher appreciation week! Looking over Burlington Assistant Superintendent's (Mr. Patrick Larkin's) Blog, I was inspired to thank my own personal teachers who have changed my life. There are a few of them and I am so happy to have had them in my life!
Mrs. Bettez: My third grade teacher, Mrs. Bettez was truly an inspiration! She should have won teacher of the year. I learned my multiplication tables, we started a garden, I began my love for reading, and I remember always feeling extremely happy in her class. After graduating in 3rd grade, I came back in 4th grade to speak about the horrors of smoking (as an actor). I was a panel member named Raul who had smoked for over 30 years. Mrs. Bettez saw my love for acting and nourished it. I also remember how Mrs. Bettez really reached out and helped my friend, Nick, whom was in my class. Nick had hearing problems, and Mrs. Bettez wore a hearing aid. She did everything in her power to make accommodations for Nick and really made him feel like a part of the class. I remember Nick telling me how he was put in the remedial classes because he couldn't hear some of his previous teachers. Later he learned to read lips (which was very advantageous in high school!). Mrs. Bettez really changed his (and my) life. I recently saw her daughter who is about my age in the GAP about 5 years ago. She called her mother on the spot and I talked to Mrs. Bettez and told her how much her class had meant to me. It was really a wonderful moment.
Ms. Mary Dondero: Mary was my graphic design professor in my undergraduate career at Bridgewater State University. As a graphic design major Mary helped to push me and become a great artist and designer. I will always remember her quirky attitutude, her kindness, and her love for her students. Mary helped me through a difficult time in my life and she probably didn't even know how much of an impact she made because she was such a genuine woman. Thank you Mary.
Mr. Barry Shauck & Ms. Ruth Starrat: Barry and Ruth were my graduate school professors at Boston University. With their guidance and dedication to their students, they continue to train art teachers at the highest possible level. I learned how to push my artwork to the next level in order to get my students to do the same. They advocated for teachers as artists and vice versa. Their dedication to their craft truly inspires me. They even inspired me to take on a student teacher for next year! I want to pass on their wisdom.
Ms. Christina Chang & Mr. George Ratkevich: And finally, Christina and George were both my cooperating teachers at Burlington High School years ago. I can't thank them enough for all of the time and energy they both put in to helping me learn and become a quality art educator. I am so lucky to be able to continue working with them at BHS. Everyone here always says that we have such a great department and I agree! Our ties are helpful for us to advocate for art at BHS and for our students. I know that for years to come we will still be doing the same work!