Teacher Appreciation Week!


a throwback picture of all the teachers. we know that not all the teachers are represented in this picture but find your long-term teachers just a little younger. (Peep Mr. Niva of the far-left side) lol

Ava Bedker and Erin McDowell

As we come to the end of Teacher Appreciation Week we wanted to highlight and spotlight a few teachers. We went around and talked to nine teachers to find out how long they have been teaching, what their favorite memory is, what has changed for the better since they became teachers, would they encourage people to become teachers, and what advise they would give to people going into education? We are so sad that we weren’t able to interview all the teachers, but we appreciate and value them all! Here are some of their answers, starting off with Mr. Noe.  

Mr. Noe our engineering and Aerospace teacher has been teaching for 6 years. And his favorite part is hearing about the success of past students who are working at Boeing and being able to mentor them through the industry. He said that advancements in technology and outreach to everyone has improved drastically since he started teaching. He says that yes, he would recommend being a teacher. It says that it is a very rewarding job. He recommends that if you want to become a teacher to have experience in the field you are teaching in outside of college. He said that having experience has helped him being able to accurately represent how the workforce is.  

Thank you Mr. Noe We appreciate you!   

Mr. Niva, our writing for college and AP language, has been teaching here at Lakes for 17 years and 20 years in total! He said that his favorite part of teaching is when young people wake up to their own compacity and when he gets to witness students stepping onto their own. The things that have changed for the better since he started working are that technology is for the better and the teachers are smarter and perform better than they have in the past. He said that he would absolutely recommend teaching “it is humanity’s experience not a corporate image.” The advice he gives to those who are thinking about getting into teaching is “learn as much as you can at school and when you start align yourself with those who can help you who have experience.” He said while teaching is rewarding it is mentally and emotionally challenging.  

Thank you, Mr. Niva! We appreciate your insight and lengthy explanations!  

Mr. Firman our English teacher has been teaching for a total of 8 years. He said that his favorite time is when the whole class is in collaboration, having a good time joking and laughing together. My Firman says that the technology has improved but we could stand using it more wisely. When asked if he would recommend teaching, he said “Yes, but it has to be in you.” he advised those wanting to go into teaching not to be ridged toe the line but don’t be too harsh and to pick your battles wisely.   

Thankyou Mr. Firman! We appreciate you!  

Mr. Hinkle, our history teacher and GSA leader, has been teaching for 26 years. He stated that History is not always taught by the right people and sometimes it can suck, what’s cool is having students say at the end of the year that they now love history when they didn’t at the beginning. Since he began teaching history, what has changed for the better is leeway, he doesn’t have to sugar coat history, he can talk more openly. His advice to new teachers is; 90% of the kids are fantastic, you are not just their educator you can be their parent, councilor and mentor. You have to look out for students.  

Thank you, Mr. Hinkle! We appreciate you! 

Mr. Miller, our credit retrieval teacher, has been teaching 17 years. His favorite part of teaching is when the student figures out the problem they are working on. “The aha moment”. He says that communication has improved for the better because of technology. He recommends becoming a teacher, he advises that if this is your chosen career, to be patient and empathetic with students and yourself.  

Thank you, Mr. Miller! We appreciate you!  

Mrs. Morgan, our Civics and CWP teacher and yell conference leader, has been in education for 21 years. This year has been one of her favorites, but it is bittersweet. This year is Mrs. Morgan last year at Lakes and she’s had classes of all Seniors this year, so we are all leaving together. Her favorite part of this year has been the assemblies and all the fun activities put on by students. One thing that always warms her heart is when students contact her years later, she has been invited to two student’s weddings. Mrs. Morgan believes that since she began teaching, she has seen a growth of acceptance for students and staff who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Mrs. Morgan always supports people wanting to become teachers, her advice is; don’t take it personality. It is not always your fault when a student is acting up and you never know what is going on in their personal life.  

Thank you, Mrs. Morgan! We appreciate you! 

Mr. Clark is our Yearbook and Journalism teacher along with head coach of cross-country plus track and field. He has been teacher for 34 years and his favorite memories have been; his daughters helping to set up his classrooms and being invited to two past weddings for students and athletes. Mr. Clark is happy to see that since he began teaching, education has become better at recognizing students’ backgrounds and differences. He is very encouraging to people going into education, he has never had one day of regret in becoming a teacher, as a matter of fact one of his daughters became a teacher. Mr. Clarks advice to new teachers is; make connections with your students, it is very difficult to manage a classroom without having connections. Focus on the big things, pick your battles, understand how important your job is.  

Thank you, Mr. Clark! We appreciate you! 

Mrs. Navarro is our Drama, Stagecraft, and AP Biology teacher, along with that she oversees drama club and National Honor Society. She has been teaching for 12 years and her favorite memory has been: all the plays she has directed. Since she began teaching, she was able to grow the drama program from one class to five and has started teaching AP Biology a couple years ago. Her advice to new teachers is; have patience and always be yourself with students.  

Thank you, Mrs. Navarro! We appreciate you! 

Mrs. Harrell is our ASB, Careers in Education, and Independent Living teacher. She has been teaching for 32 years and she has had too many favorite moments with students to pick just one! Since she began, teachers are now getting paid a lot more. Being the Careers in Education teacher, she would encourage everyone to become teachers. Her advice to those aspiring teachers would be; be flexible, creative and listen to everyone but especially your students. Most importantly, have fun! 

Thank you, Mrs. Harrell! We appreciate you!