The Teachers We Need

Mine isn’t a unique story. How many of us have been inspired by a special, caring, charismatic teacher?

Mine isn’t a unique story. How many of us have been inspired by a special, caring, charismatic teacher?

In my case, the person I am today follows a clear line back to many teachers who inspired me, who shaped me, who helped me define and articulate who I am and what I believe. To name but a few:  Mrs. Hogan at Slavens Elementary who instilled a passion for learning; Mr. Dunn in eighth grade cultivated my interest in science that carried through to Mr. Mackey’s Senior AP Physics; Mr. Remes set me on a lifetime path of studying the world, especially American history; and, among my many great English teachers, Mrs. Wasserstein helped me develop my ability to effectively put my ideas and thoughts in writing.

But from a long list of great teachers, one teacher stands out—my high school counselor, Kathy Smith. I graduated from Cherry Creek in 1979. My academic record was good, but certainly not stellar. Yet, Dr. Smith believed in me. She saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. She always seemed to be there for me when I needed someone most. It was with her help that I applied and was accepted to Northwestern, and it was with her help that I laid the foundation for the rest of my life. Looking back, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today without Dr. Smith’s belief in me.

While she and I shared a special bond, Dr. Smith certainly didn’t single me out. She served as a mentor, an advisor, and a friend to many students. She recognized that a student’s character or a young person’s capacity to accomplish great things is not necessarily represented by just grades or test scores. She encouraged hundreds of students every year – helped them find their dream and then realize it.

Thanks to Dr. Smith’s help and effort on my behalf, I attended Northwestern, got my bachelor’s degree and MBA, made a career, raised a family, and now am running for congress.

Dr. Smith retired last year after 16 years as the principal at Cherry Creek.

I just want to say thank you, Dr. Smith. Thank you to all the teachers who helped me become the man I am today. Thank you to all the teachers out there now who continue to inspire a new generation of thinkers and innovators.

I think each of us can point to teachers who inspired us. My wife, Julie, can, just like I can. My parents can. My sisters can. I want my sons, my nieces, and my nephews all to be able to.

Let’s not lose these stories. Let’s not give up on improving American education.

Let’s work even harder to guarantee that the next generation can still write this story.

Brad Schneider
Candidate for United States Congress - 10th District

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dold's supporter September 30, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I have being inspired by Congressman Dold. The luckiest crook there is in the whole North Shore...with everything handed over to him by his dad yet he acts like he worked for any of it...like house, or company or political power (say thanks to Kirk and the bastard before him...the one who retired...). Dold is as fake as they come and, just like he accused Seals last election, he today doesn't live in his district. Vote for him, he needs to vote himself some tax breaks because his company makes only almost $2 mil per office but the salaries Dold pays to Dold family is more than that per year so the poor guy needs some tax breaks. How imbecile some of you are to even allow such character like Dold run, much less be elected...Obama might not have a birth certificate but Dold doesn't have a spine and he should have stayed a secretary to some politician in Washington...that he is qualified for. Really...how can you guys allow such a crook shape the business climate when he doesn't know anything except exploit his employees and pay no taxes? What the hell does Dold know about work? When (except when he was a secretary) did he ever work? How imbecile North Shore voters really are? Seals was something else too 9living off his wife's paycheck) but Dold...isn't he living off his dady and mommy's company and employees' paychecks he, every month, takes something from it "by mistake?" Dold...the story of a crook who made it all the way to Congress.
Guido McGinty September 30, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Brad, did your small businesses have any revenue this year? Unlike 2010 and 2011?
Guido McGinty September 30, 2012 at 06:11 AM
This is false advertising. You're no Dold supporter.
Guido McGinty October 01, 2012 at 01:58 AM
"You are not an independent voter" This is true. I'm not registered since I'm not a violent person who believes in coercion. "nor are you sincere when you tell people "do not vote" on other articles on Patch." How would you know? I have a dream. It is that no one shows up on election day to provide legitimacy to the violently coercive democratic and republican thieves. "And you forgot to ask Dold if he is paying his employees @ Rose Pest any overtime" I couldn't care less. If you feel you were shortchanged, you're taking the correct action by going through the courts.
Can't say there's even 1 teacher that 'inspired me' but do know that those teachers I had made sure I learned the 3R's unlike now when we see fights about teaching Chinese from the teachers and you then encounter a high school senior or even someone in college that can't make change without a calculator or computerized cash register to do it for them.


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