Friday, May 09, 2014

ESGI Honors Teachers!

 Thanks for MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the ESGI Team wants to take a moment to say “thank you” to influential teachers in our lives.


Greg, Founder: Mr. Peter Tasker, Lake Forest Academy made class fun and connected through humor and exciting stories of his Peace Corps days. It didn't matter what he was teaching, could have been basket-weaving, and I would have wanted to do well for him. Thanks to all teachers for motivating your students!





Amish, Business Partner and Advisor: I was the last generation to grow up with the “paddle” in the principal’s office. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller, the principal of Concord East Side introduced me to “old faithful" a couple of times….Looking back at my grade-school report card (and now having children), I felt so sorry for, and appreciative of Mrs. Warren my 3rd grade teacher who for 4 quarters in a row made comments in my report card stating Q1: "AMISH CONTINUES TO NEED THE FIRST AND LAST WORD”, Q2: “AMISH FEELS THE NECESSITY TO BE THE CLASS CLOWN”, Q3: “While Amish is a good student, for some reason he finds it necessary to CONSTANTLY ENTERTAIN THE CLASS – parent meeting is requested. Q4: “AMISH has had a habit all year of disrupting the class. To ensure he is successful through his educational career he NEEDS to learn to manage his energy”….For each of the comments, the pencil got deeper and darker on the paper report card. To Mrs. Warren, thanks for your patience. Thanks for still providing me with great instruction. And most of all, thanks for sending me to the paddle. Although I am still learning to “manage my energy”, I do understand that there are limits and consequences….and with a 4 and 2 year old, my payback is coming.

Brian, CEO: It has been truly amazing this week to reflect on all of the great teachers that have influenced my children’s lives. Both of my kids are still very young but the transformation has been just incredible during their tenure at Calli Kirkpatrick. Thank you!!! During this reflection I wondered where my passion for computing started and how I was introduced to this world. It all started when Mrs. Jones, my 4th grade teacher applied for a grant and was awarded eight Apple IIe computers which sat in the back of our classroom. During our introduction to these new machines, she gave us the basics but then went beyond and taught us the BASIC programming language. Thinking back, this was unheard of and still is at the 4th grade level. So today, I want to thank Mrs. Jones for pushing the envelope and challenging us in such a way that would change my career path forever!


Rochelle, Business Development Team: B.J. Berghorst, at West Ottawa High School in Holland, MI, taught me everything I know about writing an essay. And he taught me so much more about life! He modeled grace and dignity. He chose his words carefully, and encouraged us to do the same. He held us to high standards. I will never forget when we complained that his class was “hard”, he would say, “rocks are hard; tasks are difficult.” Thanks Mr. Berghorst for being so influential in my life!




Melinda, Business Development Team: Ann Howard (Davis) Whitaker was my English teacher for three consecutive years at Jim Ned High School in Tuscola, TX. Her approach to teaching was refreshing and inspiring compared to most of the teachers under whom I had learned in this small rural district. She was blessed with a great sense of humor and a respectable level of talent on her acoustic guitar. Academically, she set very high standards and never extended any exceptions regarding her students' efforts and outcomes. Under her instruction, I developed a genuine love for words and the capacity to use them effectively, forever shaping my relationships and career choices. Thank you, Mrs. Davis, for contributing so greatly to my quality of life!​


Jenna, Customer Support Team: Ms. Ann Vanderburgh, or "Ann Van" as she went by was my favorite teacher. She taught me Algebra 2 honors at Williston Northampton in Massachusetts. She was the best at explaining concepts, and her love of math and teaching was evident the first day. She was probably a subconscious influence in my decision to become a high school math teacher.







Natalie, Customer Support Team: Bruce Holaday, at The Culver Academies in Culver, IN was my 11th grade English teacher. He was the first teacher to really explain to me how to analyze a piece of literature to find the symbolism and the meaning behind the words on the page. After his class, reading was never the same! I took away so much more from every single novel, short story, play or poem that I read. Mr. Holaday also encouraged creative writing and had a great sense of humor. Thanks, Mr. Holaday, for making us think critically and for making us laugh!"



Kristen, Social Media Team: Mrs. Moore at Bowie Elementary School in Abilene, Tx was my 4th grade teacher. She supported, encouraged and inspired me. Each morning when we'd enter her classroom she would greet all of her students with a warm smile and loving hugs. It would immediately brighten my day. She always made learning fun, and loved taking us on literary journeys. On days she read aloud to the class, she'd have us close our eyes and encourage our imaginations to come alive. She knew when I was having a bad day, and would do anything she could to help make it better. Mrs. Moore was not only supportive, but she often told me that I would do great things one day. Thank you , Mrs. Moore for inspiring me to always do my very best. 


Chris, Social Media Team: Mark Parker, San Jacinto Christian School in Houston, TX. Outside of my parents, Mark Parker probably had the single largest impact on who I am as person today. Sure he taught me to understand world geography, but as my basketball coach there were so many other lessons he taught which I couldn't get from the classroom: to respect your opponent and not take them lightly, to put more effort into your practice and preparation, to always give your best and to win and lose with dignity and that same level of respect. Those things still speak volumes to me in my personal and business life and I'm thankful to have had Mr. Parker as coach, teacher and friend.


Friends of ESGI Content Partners:
Deedee, Mrs.Wills' Kindergarten: When I was in the 6th grade I had Mrs. Dorrie Stewart as my teacher. She was was larger than life... think Auntie Mame meets Ms. Frizzle! She always had a way to make me feel special. Flashforward 20 years later in 1995... I was 9 months pregnant and walking in the mall with my husband when I spotted her. I came up to her and said, "I'm sure you wouldn't recognize me, but..." She stopped me and said, "Of course I do! You are Deedee Hada!" Pretty amazing, right?

Jayne, Smart Kids: My most influential teacher was Mrs. Ruth Lloyd. She never really was my classroom teacher, but she was my favorite person who was a teacher. You see, I've been "playing school" and pretending I was the teacher l since I was in Kindergarten myself. Mrs. Lloyd was a family friend who taught third grade. Once a month, my family would visit her and her husband for dinner. She would always have a box of worksheets and teaching items to give me for my pretend classroom. During dinner she would talk to me about her classroom as if I were an adult. She watched me grow up and grow into a teacher. She was always interested in my college classes and my first real classes as a teacher. Thank you Mrs. Lloyd for being a loving, encouraging role model!


Heidi, HeidiSongs: My favorite teacher was Mrs. Fields, my second grade teacher. She looked just like my grandmother, and I loved her so much! I remember learning to write short paragraphs in her class, and I won an award for the best "essay" for the second grade class. I think it had four sentences in it, ha ha! My clearest memory, though, is that one day I accidentally called her "grandma." I was so embarrassed and covered my face with my hands, and then I apologized! She gave me a hug and said, "Heidi, that's alright! That just means that you love me!" I have always remembered how that felt, and always used the same explanation with my own students that have called me similar names. I find that they tend to call me the name of their primary caregiver! Here is a list of all of the accidental "love names" I have been called by my students: mom, mommy, mama, grandma, grandma, AND- dad, and grandpa! LOL!! It was after I got called both "dad" and "grandpa" by two different very loving children during different school years, (who were both being raised by that person) that I realized that the child often simply transfers the name of their beloved primary caregiver to their teacher. How lovely! Isn't teaching a wonderful profession?

Palma, KFUNdamentals: High school in 1970 was a place where we expressed our opinions about politics and social injustice through sit-ins and mass demonstrations. After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world. And change was a daily occurrence back then, but one thing never changed: Math was boring. There was just no getting around the drill & kill of math class until Mr. Jacobs came to the rescue. He was a new kind of teacher who had even written his own math book. We didn't just learn algebraic formulas, we used them to solve real world problems. He brought math to life, made it fun, and we looked forward to his class every day. I carried that fundamental philosophy into my own teaching where, for the past 35 years, I have strived to keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Jacobs at a 40 year high school reunion last year. I discovered that he kept all of the cards that each of his students (for the past 40+ years) had filled out on the first day of his class. He shared mine with me and it said that my goal was "working with children."