Research tells us that there is no greater school-related impact on student achievement than the teacher in the classroom. We also know from research that teachers can have an impact on their students that extends beyond the classroom, including instilling them with a motivation for continued life-long learning throughout their lives.
Specifically, as researchers at Harvard University and Brown University point out, "a growing body of evidence has identified a range of academic behaviors and mindsets other than test scores as important contributors to children’s long-term success," and these behaviors and mindsets can be directly influenced by teachers.
As an organization that supports the growth of teachers, the Insight team sees this first-hand in our work with schools and districts every day as we partner with school leaders to create the environments and supports that empower teachers to make a positive difference in the trajectory of students' lives.
As part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, the Insight team takes a moment below to honor the many teachers who have personally affected our lives and who influence our work today.
Honoring Mrs. Hamilton from PS 162, New York, NY
"My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, made our class read The Hobbit. It took us half a year to get through it but the experience of going on such an amazing and rich adventure through a book made me a reader for life." - Sharon Ren, CFO
Honoring Ms. Stamas from Memorial Elementary School, Natick, MA
"My second grade teacher not only made learning fun and engaging; she empowered and encouraged her students to be active members of the community by creating our own books and submitting articles to our local newspaper." - Rebecca Fritz, Analyst
Honoring Mrs. Corley from Laurens Dist 55 High School, Laurens, SC
"Mrs. Corley's love of teaching and history was a major reason why I became a social studies teacher." - Jason Culbertson, President
Honoring Mr. Davis from Benton Harbor High School, Benton Harbor, MI
"Taking Government during my sophomore year in High School and learning from an amazing teacher was a game changer for me because Mr. Davis taught us how to see ourselves as part of the big picture. More importantly, he empowered us and showed us how to be critical thinkers. He was my first and only African American male teacher and the impact he made on my life is infinite." - Donna Adkins, Executive Assistant to the CEO & President
Honoring Mrs. Newton from Central Elementary, Palacios, TX
"Mrs. Newton's passion for reading and learning was infectious and she made learning fun. She made me love going to school each day and she made all of us feel special and smart and like we were a part of a class community." - Anissa Dickerman, Chief of Staff
Honoring Frau Jacobs from Niles West High School, Skokie, IL
"Even with this high school snark in her classroom, Frau Jacobs truly believed that fun maximizes learning. Beyond this, she taught me that one doesn't just learn a language, one learns other cultures as a means to communicate more effectively in a foreign language." - Jerry Lambrinatos, Senior Associate
Honoring Ms. Sternberg from St. Mary Magdalen, Camarillo, CA
"My 5th grade teacher made learning fun. She found a way to bring class novels to life through her instruction. I've loved reading novels ever since." - Michael Moody, Co-Founder of Insight and CEO of Insight ADVANCE
Honoring Ms. Karen Sukel & Mr. Edward Sukel from Washington School District, Washington, PA
"Watching this brother and sister co-teaching team compassionately and relentlessly hold ALL of their students to the highest of expectations, while at the same time adeptly and joyfully work to figure out the best strategies to meet those high goals, allowed me to see and feel how a teacher can cause someone to see a completely different future for themselves that they never would've imagined possible. They had this otherworldly, magical blend of expertise, passion, attitude and heart and changed the direction of my life by inspiring me to go in to the education field." - Britt Britton, Senior Associate
Honoring Madame Lorenz from Oak View Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD
"Madame Lorenz, my fifth and sixth grade teacher, was full of energy and made learning come to life. When I become a teacher of the same grades, she inspired me to exude that same kind of energy and excitement for learning with my students." - Jill Nyhus, VP of Business Development
Honoring Mrs. Hayes from Holy Nativity School, Inglewood, CA
"My mom was my English teacher from grades 6-8 and she was my favorite English teacher ever. She sparked our curiousity and pushed our thinking by asking us higher order thinking questions before it was cool! How many ways are there to be "invisible" and what happens to a person when he doesn't feel seen? (When we read "The Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison). How is the story affected by who is doing the telling? What would happen if a different character were telling the story? (When we read the Ray Bradbury short story "The Veldt"). She challenged us with rigorous texts and she supported us in talking to those texts as readers and thinkers. She helped us connect that learning to larger life lessons. This apporach to being in constant critical dialogue with texts and the world around me stayed with me thorughout my education and into my professional career." - Kat Hayes, Senior Associate
Honoring Mr. Peckham from West Seneca East Middle School, West Seneca, NY
"Mr. Peckham's passion was contagious. He laughed, got choked up, and sometimes got pretty frustrated talking about the literature we were reading discussing." - Bethany LeMoyne, Senior Associate
Honoring Mrs. Parker from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore, MD
"Mrs. Parker was the best English teacher. She was great at keeping the class interesting and getting to know each student personally." - Shawn Branch, Director of Operations
Honoring Mr. Curwin from Apple Valley Elementary School, Apple Valley, CA
"My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Curwin was a master at motivating kids. His authentic projects made learning fun for me! Thanks, Mr. Curwin." - Jason Stricker, CEO