Watermark Shares: The Teachers Who Inspired Us

May 15, 2020 Bianca Salinas

Teaching is both a challenging and rewarding sport. All over the world, teachers invest countless hours to help their students think, learn, and grow. Now more than ever, we see how critical education is to the success of our students and the future of our society.

It is so important to express gratitude towards those teachers who have influenced our lives. As a continuation of our Teacher Appreciation Week celebration, we’ve compiled a series of special memories and shoutouts to the teachers who have impacted the Watermark community.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

"For me, writing about teachers gets personal really fast. My high school experience was pretty painful. There were three remarkable teachers who gave me hope, and some much-needed courage, when other parts of school life were dark indeed. I survived high school because of these amazing teachers and mentors:

  • Mr. Aceto taught me German — and that learning may be nerdy, but nerds don’t have to be outcasts. They can find kindred spirits in their own (seriously awesome) tribe.
  • Mr. Schimmer taught me Advanced Composition — and that good writing demands fact-finding, soul searching, and solitary work, and has its own singular rewards.
  • Ms. Plowman taught Creative Writing — and took my writing seriously enough to direct a semester of independent study that led to my first publication in a small press magazine."

-Kris Babe, Senior Manager, Content Marketing

The Rock

“Shout out to Daniel Foote, a new junior high and high school Social Studies teacher at Dallas Lutheran School. In his first year of teaching, Daniel has adapted and grown so much. Last fall, his district was hit by a tornado, which forced all teaching staff to shift online! The school temporarily held class in the gymnasium while portables were installed. Only one week after returning to class, spring break arrived...along with the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire campus went back to teaching online again! In between, Daniel coached his first year of basketball at DLS and invited us up for a game (seen in picture). It is so cool seeing him lead with confidence as he has been a rock for his students through so much change this year!"

- Kevin Sikes, Project Manager

Pictured Left to Right: Kevin Sikes, Rachel Sikes, Daniel Foote and Daniel’s parents Kari and Dave.

Flexibility is Key

“When I was in high school, my government class had us do one-paragraph daily writing prompts. I had a hard time finding value in such a rote task. My teacher noticed my struggles with this task and quickly offered a solution. She gave me the option to turn in a five-paragraph essay based on one of the prompts for the week (or a piece of relevant news) instead of completing the daily prompt. Thanks to her recognizing a need for flexibility to accommodate my learning, I was able to achieve success in her course. I will always remember that we all learn in our own unique way.”

- Rachel Carlson, Product Consultant

The Music in Our Hearts

“Kristen Sylvester is an elementary music teacher that has inspired so many of her students to develop a love for music. Anyone that has been to one of the Glenville School music concerts has witnessed the magic of seeing her students perform with such pride and enthusiasm. She has always looked for creative ways to connect with her students and has taken this to a whole new level while transitioning to distance learning by providing her students with fun ways to continue learning about music. She has helped keep the Glenville spirit and community going by having sing-along events that several hundred students and staff have attended! My son (and her nephew) is her littlest student and biggest fan!“

- Lauren O’Brien, Vice President of Marketing

Pictured: Mrs. Sylvester introducing Dennis to a piano

During Teacher Appreciation Week, clients began sharing their stories of teachers who went the extra mile. Thanks to Miranda Arnold, Coordinator of Local Field Experiences, Liberty University, for this great story.

Soaring Beyond the Classroom

“Mr. Kerry White (Whitey!) led a local history class where we engaged in several local projects to learn about and support the historical significance of our local area, including the development of a walking tour for others to use. He even put his pilot license to use by taking us on small plane rides to tell us about the history of our area from a bird's eye view. He led his classes with such compassion. He understood the importance of relationships in the classroom, teaching us more than just content. Coming from a large family, he taught me and most of my siblings. Having worked with my grandfather in his career prior to teaching, he supported all of us by attending my grandfather's funeral several years ago. He still checks in with our family and his other previous students to this day--nearly 20 years later. His impact extends far beyond the classroom!”


- Miranda Arnold, Liberty University

Thank you, teachers, for all that you do!

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