It's National Teacher Appreciation Day and I think it's fitting you acknowledge your favorite teachers and educators!

Teachers, since I was a kid, have remained some of the single most influential people in my life.  Education has always been an important aspect of my life and I've been told since I was a kid by my parents that I WOULD stay in school, go to college, and get a degree.  I was lucky enough to be around educators that also reinforced that motivation in ways other than explicitly saying it.

I attended St. Paul's Catholic School in Nampa, from preschool through 8th grade and there were a handful of impactful teachers there that were more than teachers, but mentors. I specifically remember Mrs. Hoyle who always helped me with math, the most difficult subject for me growing up, early before school started and at times late after it was over. There was also Mr. Binder, our P.E. teacher who really took me under his wing as an athlete.  I struggled in 5th/6th grade because of some kids that didn't like me and had it not been for Mr. Binder, I would have left the school that still holds a huge place in my heart.

There are some high school teachers that I am still very close to, on in particular, Mr. Chuck Tacke from Bishop Kelly High School right here in Boise.  We share an interesting relationship as I began my freshman year not liking him and by graduation, he was one of my best friends. Someone I now call on a regular basis and have beers with quite often.  Mr. Tacke pushed my brain into places it had never been, completely changing my outlook on many aspects of life and spirituality. I'm beyond thankful for him.

Of course, my time at Gonzaga University brought about some heroic educators as well. Professor Heath Herrick, Fr. Ken Krall, Prof. Kelley Bishop, Dr. Doug Orr, and more are professionals in their fields and in academia that I will always be indebted to.

Who are YOUR favorite teachers? Let us know why!

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