Staff appreciation week: Oracle staffers give teachers an A+

Dear Mrs. Powell,

On the first day of school, you told us that an orangutan could teach our class and we would still learn because we were talented, driven students. However, I disagree. Your students need you. Thank you for always being so understanding. Whenever I have approached you with a question, you always have the patience to make sure I fully understand the answer and am applying myself properly. I have rarely had a teacher who truly cares about their students’ wellbeing, but no one was as supportive of me as you were when I injured my knee. It is incredible how you unconditionally care about your students. Please continue to care deeply.

—Hayley Krolik

Dear Ms. Pomilia,

To be honest, when I first found out in freshman year that I would have the same teacher two semesters in a row, I was pretty frustrated. I was convinced that it would be a long year. That all changed, however, when I walked in the first day of school. I looked forward to your class every day because your obvious enthusiasm made me want to love the books as much as you do. I especially miss hearing your Friday reminder to “be safe, have fun and make good decisions.” It was not until I left your class, however, that I truly appreciated how great you are. You made sure that I knew your door was always open. Thank you for teaching and looking out for me.

—Lisa Hao

Dear Mr. Redfield,

Though you are an incredible teacher, the best part about your class are your stories. Enriching life lessons mixed with flashbacks from your life in Brazil or at your job at Dole really make B period more than just about math. Not only can I walk into your class knowing you’ll spread your passion to me, but I also know you can spread your knowledge to me, ultimately making me a better person.

After three years of having you, there is still so much more I can learn from you. The best part is, if I fail a test I always have motivation to try harder; I can simply just watch you teach us with that fiery dedication and it will remind me it’s possible to succeed.

—Arjun Sahdev

Dear Ms. Ichikawa,

First of all, thanks for writing me a bomb rec letter. I haven’t read it, but considering our great rapport and the amount of witty banter we’ve partaken in over the years, I am sure it was amazing. You helped me grow so much as a writer, and I want to thank you for developing my analysis skills. You also made “Heart of Darkness“ somewhat bearable, which is not a small feat. That book is very boring. I also love how your class has an open and accepting environment which fosters amazing debates. Also, thanks for telling all your classes I think Lord Byron is attractive.

—Esther Kozakevich

Dear Mr. Johnson,

It’s rare to come by a teacher who can make a seemingly dull topic interesting, but you’ve done that. I came into class dreading APUSH, believing it was heavy in exams and light in true learning, but each day has been entertaining simply because of the interesting things we discover in this class. I do not especially enjoy reading the textbook, but history comes alive when you add trivia that makes it seem more human. Vague ideas become understandable under your bizarre yet hilarious comparisons. Frankly, it’s because the enthusiasm you harbor infects all of us. So thank you, Mr. Johnson, for all that you do to add to my educational experience here at Gunn every single day.

—Kathleen Xue

Dear Ms. Tantod,

This year has not been the easiest, but you have easily made it better with just your attitude every day. You always make class more enjoyable. The environment you have created has let me strive in a subject I’ve never been able to do well in. Math has never been my strong suit but this year, I actually enjoy coming to class everyday and learning new things. I have never felt more confident with math and I am so grateful to have a teacher like you. I am thankful to have you as a teacher, especially through the hard times this year. I always counted on that class to make me smile, even for just an hour. Thanks again for being you.

—Naina Murthy