The Wadsworth Ohio Youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented Teacher Appreciation Night May 11, in the church at 4411 Windfall Road, Medina. This very heartwarming occasion at which students honor teachers who have made a difference in their lives takes place every other year.
An anonymous student once wrote, "We think of the effective teachers we have had over the years with a sense of recogniton, but those who have touched our humanity we remember with a deep sense of gratitude." That gratitude was more than obvious as 32 individual presentations were made by the students ages 12 and up who are members of this church. A couple teachers were recognized by more than one student.
The educators they honored this year were mostly from the Highland and Wadsworth School Districts, but there were a few honorees from a dance studio, a Northeast Ohio school, and home schoolers. In the past there have also been honorees from Medina, Our Lady of the Elms, Walsh, and other area schools.
Teacher Appreciation Night was coordinated by Carrie Zuro. Following her comments welcoming and thanking everyone, a special vocal number, "If the Savior Stood Beside me," was performed by the youth of the church, accompanied by pianist Isaac McPherson, a sophomore at Highland High School.
Nathan Webb delivered the opening prayer after which Zuro introduced City of Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh, who shared thoughts about about a former teacher who influenced her life when she was a high school senior. She, too, went back later to thank him for making a difference in her life. She then extended congratulations and thanks to all the teachers being recognized
for making a difference in the lives of so many students.
Following is the list of students and the teachers to whom they said thank you for being such an important part of their lives:
Kenna Barfuss/Mrs. Nicole Doyle; Aiden Bigler/Mrs. Patti Back; Reagan Bradley/Mrs. Kim Snyder; Mila Brady/Mrs. Christine Arbogast; Andrew Bryan/Mr. Bruce Scally; Julia Bryan/Ms. Kimberly States; Peter Bryan/Mr. Zachary Humrichouser; Ava Cartwright/Mrs. Barbara Arnold; Maddie Cartwright/Mrs. Dana Hire; Nora Cartwright/Mr. Rob Bodjanac; Ella Foutz/Mr. Kyle Brooks; Eris Foutz/Mrs. Tanya Dolata; Kileigh Guthrie/Mrs. Justine Sheehan; Christine Headrick/Mrs. Tina McKeen; Talia Headrick/Mrs. Lynn Bardar; Taylor Headrick/Mrs. Carrie Knapp; Addyson Johnson/Mr. Mark Raczynski; Delaney Johnson/Mrs. Lauren Lawson; Caden Klein/Mr. Kyle Brooks; T.J. Lockwood/Mr. Steve Moore; Jacob "Max" McPherson/Mrs. Stephanie Abatangelo; Samuel McPherson/Mrs. Alicia Steinmetz; Grace Parke/Ms. Carol Jackson-Bostick; Lucas Rogers/Mrs. Stacy Hamsher; Phoebe Rogers/Ms. Rose Tipka; Logan Spittle/Mr. Andrew Hoslar; Jenna Webb/Mrs. Julie Spaite; Lauren Webb/Sister Brenda Murawski; Ellie Zuro/Mr. Don Warren; Blake Zuro/Mr. Michael Nettling; and Hannah Zuro/Mr. Brendan Gwirtz.
The students movingly described the honored guests - teachers of every subject and grade, administrators, coaches - as role models, mentors, moms of 200 kids, dedicated, thoughtful, humorous, caring, preparers of their futures, non-intimidating, and most of all, people who touched their lives at meaningful times, giving them the tools to forge ahead confidently.
Carrie Zuro concluded the presentations with a special thank you, a mother thanking another mother, Mrs. Carrie Knapp. Zuro then invited Bishop Mike Hauser to address the audience.
Bishop Hauser told the audience it was a privilege to be able to honor teachers. He said he had teachers at every junture of his years in school to whom he is still grateful for their influence, and extended a personal thank you to the teachers at Highland High School who made his family's transition from New York to Ohio many years ago so much easier for his own children. He shared meaningful examples of people who were at some point in their lives impacted by that special teacher, and reminded the audience that often the greatest rewards to people like teachers may come in the future.
Everyone joined in the singing of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," after which McPherson said the closing prayer. Everyone moved into the cultural hall to enjoy the refreshments prepared by volunteers of the church.
"Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system." Sidney Hook