National Teachers Day

What teaching means to our staff

Back to Article
Back to Article

National Teachers Day

Jennie Leeper, Social media editor

Today is National Teachers Appreciation Day. Some of our teachers discuss their profession.

Football coach Mike Kirschner-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I gave up an accounting career to teach and coach.. I loved the competition of athletics.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mr. Stauffer my head football coach.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

The relationships I build with students

 

English teacher Paisley Kleinhenz

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I am the oldest of six children and I have always wanted to be a teacher.  We used to play school as kids.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mrs. Otterman- she was my AP Comp., theater and speech teacher.  She taught me love the written and spoken word and acting.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

My students.  BD students are the BEST!

 

Health teacher Marci Royalty-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I am fascinated with the concept of learning and how our brains function.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

I had two AMAZING teachers in high school, “KA”/Mr. Keith Alexander for American Studies (English and US History and Mrs. Billie Means for Speech and Debate; and senior English.  Their teaching styles were engaging and fun.  I still remember specific assignments and games we would play for test reviews.  KA and Mrs. Means were both two of the nicest people I have met in my lifetime.  

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

 I like teaching itself.  Coming up with lesson ideas and sharing the material with my students.

Social studies teacher Robert Lewis-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

It was to be different than I was taught in the past. They way I was taught, worked for me, but I know it doesn’t work for everyone, so that is what I try to do everyday.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

My 6th grade science teacher Mr. Dockery. He was the first male teacher I had and he really made me think differently in the classroom. He also showed me how I could prove my knowledge beyond tests and homework and put the seed in my head that projects and discussions could just as easily show knowledge as the old ways.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

I like that I get to know the kids and help them grow both in and out of the classroom. I like that I can design my own curriculum and create my own assignments daily. I know my end goal and make my own path to get there. The built in paid breaks don’t hurt either.

 

Early childhood education teacher Judith Lowery-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I wanted a career that paid me in more ways than just a check.  I wanted to work in a field that gave back to others and put my students on track for a rewarding career.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

My eighth grade science teacher was the biggest influence on my decision to become a teacher .  She had been in training to become an astronaut. She made it to the final round before returning to our classroom  Before meeting her, I never considered that women could do such important work. Her life story inspired me not to put limits on my future possibilities. I want inspire students to not limit themselves and to work hard to reach their dreams.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

My favorite part of teaching is when my student succeed in ways they never knew they could. I love when an assignment becomes more than homework, when students apply classroom learning out in the field.  In Early Childhood Education, our assignments are often tested in classrooms they lead.  Students are motivated to do their best for the students they teach on a daily basis.

Career center’s Debbie Montgomery-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I had a great theater teacher in high school that encouraged me to pursue a degree in theater. He saw something in me as I began directing plays in high school. Before that, I had never consider going to college or any type of career.

–What do you like best about the teaching profession.

I LOVE watching students grow and succeed as they work towards reaching their goals. Sounds corny, but that is what keeps me going. Every day is  filled with surprises; never a dull moment.

 

Kaitlyn Perez

Theatre teacher Mark Montgomery-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I had a number of teachers who had a positive impact on the direction of my life and wanted to pay it forward.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Ray Schultz. He was my high school football coach and biology teacher, and I also served as a student assistant for him. He was/is a very intelligent     individual who always exhibited a positive attitude.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

Having the opportunity to deal with so many outstanding people each day. Colleagues, support staff, and students. How many jobs exist where you interact with literally a couple of hundred different people EVERY work day?

ROTC leader Dave Thompson-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

My high school teachers and more specifically my coaches and PE teachers.  However, after completing a career in the Marine Corps (20 years) I decided to have a second career as a teacher and I am just completing my 18th year as the Senior Marine Instructor for the Junior ROTC program here at Ben Davis.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

I will have to lump my coaches and PE teachers together because they all seemed like they enjoyed there work.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession.

The ability to make a difference the the lives of my students but the school breaks are nice as well.

 

Social studies teacher Matt Smith-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

I was always into music for as long as I can remember. I played all of the time and the other kids in the neighborhood would ask me to teach them what I knew. I really enjoyed seeing them get excited by what I had just thought them. As I got older I recognized what music had done for me in providing me with a path for happiness and wanted to give students to the same opportunities that I was afforded through music.

– Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

I was blessed to have several educators that influenced me in different ways and helped me on my path. Mrs. Ard my 5th grade teacher taught me to never sell myself short and to be proud of who I am. Bruce McConnel, my high school percussion instructor who saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. Lastly, Dr. Huffman-Joely who believed in me and gave me a second chance at success.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

The best thing about the teaching profession is the hope it gives the next generation to succeed and change the world!

 

French teacher Brayton Mendenhall-

–What motivated you to become a teacher?

I’ve always had a passion for learning.  When I was younger I wanted to learn everything I could.  After coaching color guard for a few years after high school, I realized that I also had a passion for student success and achievement.  I love to see a young person the moment a new idea clicks.  It’s everything to me!

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mrs. Patty Stetson was one of my color guard instructors in high school. Everything she did was with the full intent of helping her students fall in love with color guard, and we did!  When I began coaching, she would always tell me, “Crouton (her nickname for me because in her Boston accent it sounded like Brayton), you have to make it about the kids.  If they love what they are doing, they will follow you anywhere.”  I hold her words dear to me to this day.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession.

There is no better feeling in the world than watching a student actively learn and grow into an adult.  It is truly one of the most rewarding experiences to watch a student take someone else’s knowledge, understand it, process it, and make that knowledge their own.

Lydia Finchum-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

My mom wanted to be a math teacher.  I grew up hearing about her love for math and how her dad wouldn’t let her go to college, since she only had a partial scholarship.  She was expected to get a job to help out with bills and ended up teaching herself computer programming and working in a job that she hated every day.  

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mr. Ellison was the teacher who opened up my love for Science.  He was my middle school physical science teacher.  He had us place our hands on the desk and asked us if it was moving.  When we all responded no, he said that the particles that made up the desk, the atoms, were actually moving constantly.  I never looked at my desk or the world the same after that.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession.

I love introducing students to the topic that I absolutely love.   I live for that moment when I’m teaching a difficult concept and the light bulb goes off.  That moment that they get it is one of the best events that I get to experience almost daily.  I also love when students come back after high school and let me know what is going on in their life.  Seeing the impact that I’ve had in the person that they have become keeps me coming back each year.

 

Business teacher Lisa Bugay-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

3rd generation teacher 🙂

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Another teacher changed my life! I should say 3 teachers 🙂  would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for them.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

“Giving” and allowing students to feel comfortable in their own skin when sometimes their home is not always so accepting.

 

Latin teacher Bill Gulmartin-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

Love of subject, wanting to share that love.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mr. Sabatelli, H.S. History. He explained that, contrary to hollywood portrayals, Davy Crockett did not die fighting at the Alamo.

Rather, he along with a few other survivors of the batlle was hanged.  He taught me to question, question, question.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

Interaction with a new generation.

 

Mass media teacher Ben Fraley-

-What motivated you to become a teacher?

My teachers who bucked the system really inspired me to teach “loudly” and do what it takes to engage and inspire students.

-Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

Mr. Sam Hanley (Southport) and Ms. Erin VanVlymen (Suburban Baptist) taught me that it isn’t what you teach, but how you inspire. Hanley had us do projects that focused on the duality of man, what our legacy would be, and who we want to become. Ms Van introduced us to books, like Catcher in the Rye and Of Mice and Men, that weren’t on the approved reading list and it really sparked my interest in literature and expression. If she had followed the cookie cutter list, I might not have found that love as early as I did.

-What do you like best about the teaching profession?

I love watching students light up when they make a discovery. It reminds me of myself when I had huge revelations in school. I like being able to be that inspiration to my students and see that same excitement for discovery in them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email