IFC Craft Show: Reflecting on one of my favorite days at school

Welcome back to my blog! In my last post, I wrote a less traditional blog post, naming most of the staff members that I interacted with, laughed with, learned from, was inspired by, was grateful for, etc. This week, I’m going to return to my traditional storytelling format and talk about a NPSD organization that has had a huge impact on my life. With that said, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite days from high school that led to the involvement with the North Penn School District International Friendship Committee’s craft show.

On a Friday morning, I woke up at 5:30am and happily got dressed in record time. I wrote for the school newspaper, The Knight Crier, and I needed to get there before 6:30 to meet a teacher for an interview. I tried to schedule these interviews on Friday mornings on purpose; having a genuine conversation with someone for an article was not only a great way to start the day, but also end the week.

Waving and saying my usual “Good morning, Walt” to the security guard, I made my way to the interview that I had scheduled with the teacher. I swore that the next forty-five minutes were responsible for the best interview that I ever had. I always seemed to say this after every interview.

I made my way to my first class and took the long way just so I could say good morning to as many teachers as I could. I climbed the stairs to the third floor of K-Pod and walked into the best class that anyone could start their day with: News Journalism with Mr. Manero. He has and always will be one of my favorite teachers ever.

As I went through all eight periods of the day, I remember how I didn’t notice how heavy my backpack was that day, how much homework I had for the weekend, or that I had a few tests the next week. Simply put, I was especially happy that day. I spent the last period of the day with another one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Sieller. When the bell rang, announcing the start of the weekend, I met up with a group of my friends, and we made our way to the cafeteria for the next adventure.

For the next five hours, we all helped with setting up for the annual International Friendship Committee’s craft show that funds the exchange program. My best friend Nolan and I were fortunate enough to be selected to study abroad in Spain, so this event held a lot of meaning. We found our favorite crafters from Lancaster and helped them unwrap their pottery for hours, flattening the newspaper like pros. Once the crafters were finished setting up, all the student volunteers, staff members, and exchange program trustees gathered in a room just outside of the cafeteria to enjoy some pizza together. We argued about who the crafters liked best, laughed with our teachers, told dramatic studying abroad stories, listened to even more dramatic ones, and passed phones around the tables to reminisce on memories.

We helped clean up from the pizza, said thank you, and made our way to the auditorium to watch the annual talent show. We whispered in awe at the talent of our peers, wondering how we never knew what their hidden talents were.

By the time I left the high school that night, it was well after 10pm. The high school, still alive, sat illuminated against the black sky. In all, I spent over 12 hours at school that day, and I loved every minute of it. Leaving the high school that night, I remember the gratitude I felt for my education. Not only was I given the opportunity to pursue academics, but also explore extracurricular activities. My experience at North Penn High School impacted me in ways that will last a lifetime.

Recalling days like these are why I believe in the power of students, why I believe in the power of educators, why I believe in the power of academics, why I believe in the power of extra-curricular activities, why I believe in the power of public schools. It is with this post that I happily thank the International Friendship Committee and North Penn School District for giving me such an influential educational experience. I hope to give back and make a positive impact in public-school education one day.

Appreciation Post for NPHS Staff

Welcome back to my blog! In my last post, I shared my story about an incredible opportunity to study abroad in Spain for an entire year all thanks to North Penn High School. This week, I’m going to switch things up a little bit as I focus on the amazing staff members who made my experience at NPHS so perfect. This semester, I’ve been writing about one story in particular for each post, but I don’t think I could ever pick one staff member to write about. With that said, this won’t be a traditional blog post. NPHS has too many wonderful staff members, so I’m going to include the name of almost every staff member that I interacted with, laughed with, learned from, was inspired by, was grateful for, etc.

Before I list their names, I want to explain why doing so is so important to me. As a student at NPHS, I absolutely loved school. I wanted to be there not only because I loved learning, but also because I loved the staff. I was always making every excuse to get there early, stay late, hang around to talk, etc. I wanted to know as many staff members as possible. I admired each and every staff member that I interacted with.

As a freshman in college, I think about all of the staff at NPHS 24/7, wondering if they know that I really did and continue to appreciate them. I want to be like the staff at NPHS when I have the opportunity to be an educator. I use the staff as examples of what good teaching looks like for my assignments. I use them as inspiration if I’m having a rough day. I miss seeing their smiling faces every day and popping in and out of their rooms. Each and every staff member listed below has made a unique impact on my life, and I don’t think I will ever be able to accurately describe my appreciation. With that said, thank you to:

Herr Baker

Mr. Cornelius

Mr. Clauss

Mr. Berger

Mrs. Borchers

Sensei Coyle

Mr. D’Aquanno

Mr. Brett

Mr. Boyer

Mr. Bowen

Mrs. De Marteleire

Mr. Franek

Miss Rebecca

Mr. Gillmer

Mr. Gillespie

Mrs. Giermann

Miss Cindy

Mr. Evans

Miss Goodwin

Mrs. Grunmeier

Mr. Haley

Mr. Feeney

Mrs. Faikish

Mrs. Franek

Mr. Flowers

Mr. Fluck

Miss Rachel

Mr. Kimber

Mr. King

Miss Jessie

Mr. Hynes

Señora Kriebel

Mrs. Kratz

Dr. Leithold

Mrs. Leach


Mrs. Kelley

Mr. Likens

Mrs. Linn

Mrs. Mancino

Mrs. Macnamara

Mr. Manero

Mrs. Marino

Mr. Nicholson

Mrs. Panaski

Miss McCracken

Mr. McCreary

Mrs. McGinley

Mrs. McGuriman

Mr. Ramsay

Mr. Robbins

Mr. Misuro

Mrs. Reichwein

Mrs. Roney


Mr. Strand


Madame Sapalidis

Mrs. Schwartz

Mrs. Transue

Señor Vidal

Ms. Scott

Mr. Seifert


Mr. Shea

Mrs. Sieller


Mr. Smith (Peace Sign Teacher)

Mr. Weierman

Mr. Wert

Mrs. Westerlund

Mrs. McCreary

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Wosiak

Mrs. Wright

Dr. Yetter

Ms. Young

Mrs. Allander

Mrs. Arduino

Señora Atkiss

Mr. Burrell

Mr. Calamia

Dr. Bauer

Mr. Bartle


Mr. Daly

Mr. Ford

Mrs. Degideo

Mr. Frey

Madame Fuga

Mr. Gourley

Mr. Gutsche

Mr. Henry

Mr. Kornegay

Mr. Lanetti

Mr. Swindells

Mr. Vanhassent


Mr. Young

Ms. Turner

Ms. Dome

Mrs. Rattigan

Mrs. Kauffman

Mr. Muller

Miss Milbourne

Mrs. Regan

Ms. Neubert

Mr. Rockey

Uncle Jerry

Studying abroad: The opportunity of a lifetime

Welcome back to my blog! In my last post, I talked about my experience with the Track and Field Team at Penndale Middle School and how awesome the two coaches, Coach Brick and Coach Connors, were. This week, we’re going to transition from middle school to high school, and focus on a story that relates to an incredible opportunity at North Penn High School.

With that said, it’s time for my story about studying abroad. As a sophomore in high school, I was taking honors Spanish 3, and I really enjoyed the class. I came from having an incredible Spanish teacher, Señora Hanes, in middle school to having an equally amazing teacher, Señora Kriebel, in tenth grade. A few weeks into school, Señora Kriebel started telling the class about an organization called The International Friendship Committee, which is an exchange program that grants scholarships to a certain number of students each year to study abroad in countries like Germany, France, and Spain. This caught my attention; I absolutely loved Spanish, and studying abroad seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime.

There was one problem: my friend Nolan, who was also in Señora Kriebel’s class, wanted to apply to study abroad in Spain. This was a pretty conflicting situation for me, because since Nolan was my friend, I didn’t want to take the opportunity from him. After much thought, I decided to apply anyways. Nolan and I promised each other that we would be happy for the person who was selected no matter what.

As we attended informational sessions, completed the application, and interviewed for the one spot, my friendship with Nolan grew exponentially. We sat next to each other in Spanish and refused to be separated. Luckily, Señora Kriebel was okay with this seating arrangement. Every day we could be heard talking about Spain, who was going to be selected, what it would be like to live abroad, learn a new language and culture, and explore the unknown, and more.

Then, the day came. Decisions were being announced slowly throughout the day. When I was notified, I couldn’t believe it. I was going to Spain! I felt so grateful to have been selected to study abroad in Spain for an entire academic school year on a full scholarship, but then it hit me. What about Nolan? Shortly after, I was called down to guidance counselor’s office, where I found Nolan. I knew what it meant, but he didn’t. He smiled slightly and said, “I got it.” I basically jumped on him and yelled, “Me too!”

We left the office and did some laps around the building trying to wrap our heads around the fact that The International Friendship Committee had selected two people to go to Spain. Throughout the rest of the school year, Nolan and I couldn’t contain our excitement for Spain. We talked endlessly about the experience and were even fortunate enough to sit in on the AP Spanish class with another incredible Spanish teacher, Señor Vidal, to practice our skills.

Looking back, deciding to apply to study abroad was the best decision I ever made. I’ll never be able to fully express my gratitude to the International Friendship Committee for giving Nolan and I the opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you, IFC!

BEAST MODE! Remembering track and field from Penndale Middle School

Welcome back to my blog! Throughout my last post, I talked about my memories of Mrs. Roach, my third-grade teacher, from York Avenue Elementary School. Shifting to middle school for this post, I’m going to be focusing on a story from my experience at Penndale Middle School that not only exemplifies how my passion for education has been developed through my experiences there, but also communicates my appreciation. With that said, I’m going to be talking about being on the girls’ track and field team with Coach Brick and Coach Connors.

Looking for ways to get involved, make friends, and enjoy my middle school experience, I remember thinking that joining the girls’ track and field team would be a great idea, so I went to the info session and joined the team. As a seventh grader, I never realized how much of an impact that being a part of the team would have on me later in life. The coaches, Coach Brick and Coach Connors, deserve so much credit for all of the time and effort that they dedicated to the team, from the practices, the meets, and all the things they did in between that went unnoticed.

In seventh and eighth grade, I was a part of the team and a runner, and in ninth, I was a manager. Throughout those three years, I was fortunate enough to meet more people, build more friendships, and get to know Coach Brick and Coach Connors.

One of the best memories that I have from being on the team is from the “loop” that the distance crew would run around Penndale. Coach Connors always led the group of girls, and on one run, she said how we needed a chant to sing together. Soon after that, Coach Connors came to practice one afternoon with tiny white slips of paper that had a chant on it. Here’s how it went:

“Penndale is an awesome place

to compete with friends and keep pace.

We go Beast Mode at every race

cause Penndale won’t leave in disgrace.

So please bring on another repeat

to get me ready for the meet

My best time I will beat,

cause I do not know defeat.”

That chant has stayed with me since the first practice that Coach Connors introduced us to it. When I go on runs alone, I find myself repeating the chant under my breath, because it brings back so many great memories of running with such a great group of girls and being led by two awesome coaches.

In the third line of the chant, it says the words “Beast Mode,” and these words bring another great memory to mind when I recall the three years with the team. Coach Brick was unlike any other coach I’ve had; he genuinely cared about each and every single girl on the team, making everyone feel excited to be there. With that said, at practices and meets, we had a tradition of yelling “Beast Mode” as loud as possible. Describing the experience in words won’t do it justice, so I leave you with a video to end this week’s post:

York Avenue: Memories of Mrs. Roach

Throughout the course of the first semester, I wrote about my incredible experience at the North Penn School District in five posts. With the hopes of not only expressing my genuine appreciation for the education that I received, but also conveying how my K-12 experience helped me discover my passion for education, I mainly focused on broad subjects, such as York Avenue Elementary School as a whole or the NPHS staff collectively.

Within each of the five posts from last semester lie stories, and I think telling these stories will help convey how meaningful my experience as a student was. While this idea of storytelling might seem like I’m wandering from the idea of connecting each post to my passion for education, I can promise you that I’m not. Each story has stayed with me for a reason, and they remind me every day of why I am so passionate about education.

My blog format for this semester will follow the same outline as the last, but here’s a little reminder, since it’s been a while:

  • Post One: York Avenue Elementary School
  • Post Two: Penndale Middle School
  • Post Three: NPHS Classes, Clubs, and other opportunities
  • Post Four: NPHS Staff
  • Post Five: NPSD Organizations

With that said, it’s time for the first story from York Avenue. As an elementary school student, I was blessed with incredible teachers, like Mrs. Groth, Mr. Melchior, Mrs. Ferretti, Mrs. Roach, Miss Harper, Mrs. McGuire (I was lucky enough to have her two years in a row!), Mrs. Bryan, and so many more.

However, some of the most beautiful memories that I have from York Avenue are with Mrs. Roach, who was not only my third-grade teacher, but also a Penn State alum. In fact, one of her classroom management techniques involved her yelling, “WE ARE,” and the students responding with, “PENN STATE!” This was used to quiet the class down or get everyone back on task.

Mrs. Roach unfortunately passed away, but I think of her beautiful soul constantly. I think of how she would invite her sister, who we called Aunt Helen, into the classroom to bring us cookies from the bakery she worked at, how she was so passionate about the “Goin’ Buggy” play we put on, how she would brag about our class all of the time, how she sat us all down on the floor and explained some of the health issues she was having.

When Mrs. Roach passed away, an award, The Loli Roach Spirit Award, was created in her memory, and it would be given out at the sixth-grade awards ceremony by her family. When my time at York Avenue came to an end, I was fortunate enough to receive this award. I cherish the plaque with her picture on it and the crazy hat (She was known for wearing crazy hats, so this is a part of the award) that I was given.

As a third grader, I never imagined that I would be in the College of Education at Penn State yelling the same “WE ARE” chant that Mrs. Roach used in the classroom. Or that I would remember the red “Hot Seat” in her classroom that was used when a student was reading to the class. Or that I’d smile at the thought of the “Goin’ Buggy” play and all of the cute costumes we wore. Or that I’d recall the excitement I felt when Aunt Helen paid a visit. My memories of Mrs. Roach remind me of the beauty and lasting impression of a teacher.

A district of opportunity: highlighting the work of NPSD organizations

When I think of North Penn School District (NPSD), I think of opportunity. Not only is the district staffed with some of the most passionate, professional, inspiring, dedicated educators that a school could have, but also offers something for everyone. The latter part of that statement may sound cliché, but it’s true. The NPSD never rests, because it’s always busy with organizations working to improve the educational opportunities and experiences for the students in the district. With that said, I’m going to be talking about how the organizations in the NPSD provide the students with incredible opportunities that provide students with a unique, enriching education.

All of the organizations affiliated or in partnership with NPSD have one thing in common: they want to help the students. Throughout my educational career at NPSD, I was lucky enough to become familiar with many organizations, but I want to highlight two in particular in this post, because they impacted me in ways that I’ll never be able to express accurately.

The first organization, The Educational Foundation, is a separate entity from NPSD, but works in partnership with the district to provide financial support for the schools. As a ninth grader, I was allowed to serve as a student liaison with The Educational Foundation, and I was able to witness how many community members and district employees really value the enrichment of students’ education. Seeing all of the time, money, and effort that the trustees and NPSD community members contributed to ensure that The Foundation could keep funding grants that NPSD educators can apply for was a unique feeling and something that I will always appreciate.

I try to imagine how NPSD would be different without The Foundation, and I realize just how many experiences would be missing. Since 1988, over $1 million in grants have been funded throughout the district in grades K-12 covering the following areas: English as a Second Language, Health/Physical Education, Music/Arts, Reading/Writing/Language, Special/Gifted Education, Family Outreach, History/Social Studies, Science, STEM, and Other.

The second organization, The International Friendship Committee, is an exchange program that seeks to promote peace and understanding in the world by sending and receiving students. When I was a sophomore at NPHS, I applied for the opportunity to study abroad in Spain through this organization, and I was fortunate enough to be selected. The fact that NPSD has an organization that values educating their students about peace, foreign countries, languages, and cultures, and global citizenship is admirable.

For the students at NPHS, the experience is funded through a full scholarship. In order to ensure that the scholarship is fully funded for each student, the IFC hosts craft shows in the NPHS cafeteria on a Saturday. Having volunteered at the craft shows myself, it’s amazing how the IFC transforms the area from a cafeteria to a lively atmosphere where crafters from all over come to support the students.

NPSD is home to many more organizations, but I think that the above two do a great job representing just how many opportunities that the district offers. As a former student, these organizations have allowed me to prosper in more ways than I can count. As a future educator, these organizations inspire me to ensure that my students have access to opportunities like these.

Thank you to all of the organizations in NPSD!

NPHS Part 2: How the staff influenced my passion for education

Have you ever considered how different your life would be without someone who has influenced you significantly? I’ve internally considered this question every single day for a few years now with regards to the staff at NPHS. I wonder how my passion for education would have developed differently without their presence, guidance, and constant involvement; I strongly believe that without the strong team of staff members at NPHS, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Nothing that I could ever say or do would accurately express the appreciation that I have for them, but I think that dedicating this post to them is a start. With that said, I’ll be discussing the staff’s passion for education, intense dedication and involvement, and positive attitude to demonstrate how they helped to develop my passion for education.

Their Passion

I think one of the most important characteristics of the NPHS staff is their obvious passion for education. I always had the feeling that the staff not only genuinely wanted to be there, but also wanted to ensure that the students were successful, which made me more excited and appreciative of my education.

Their passion was contagious too. Witnessing the excitement and enthusiasm that teachers, administrators, custodians, lunch ladies and gentlemen, security personnel, guidance counselors, secretaries, and numerous other staff members demonstrated at NPHS made me feel more passionate about the opportunities that education offers.   

Their Dedication and Involvement

It’s important to realize that NPHS isn’t a building that runs on a set schedule. Because of all of the events, activities, and other opportunities, the building barely sleeps. In order for any of these things to happen for the students’ benefit, the staff needs to be present and willing to participate.

Whether it was seeing the principals present and actively involved after hours and on the weekends, attending AP review sessions hosted by teachers in the evenings, receiving extensive help from guidance counselors throughout the college application process, staying after school for extra help, realizing how many staff members serve as advisors for extracurricular activities and organizations, etc., it’s clear that the staff dedicates so much more of their time than what their job description outlines.

There’s something to be said about the time and effort that the NPHS staff puts into ensuring that students receive a quality education inside and outside of the classroom. Without their dedication and involvement, I wouldn’t have been exposed to the various ways staff members can make a school a better environment.

Their Positive Attitude

As a student at NPHS, I was always excited to come to school. While I was excited to learn and challenge myself, I think I was more excited to see the staff, because their positive attitude had such a large impact on my educational experience.

NPHS always felt like home to me; however, that feeling wasn’t established by the building itself. The environment of the school was, and continues to be, cultivated by the attitude of the staff. Without their positive attitude, I never would have felt so welcome there or eager to learn, share my thoughts, or get involved.


As a future educator, I hope to follow in the footsteps of the staff at NPHS and always appreciate what they’ve done for me. Thank you, NPHS staff!

Here’s a slideshow of photos of some NPHS staff members:

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NPHS: Outlining the importance of the classes and extracurriculars

After having such an incredible experience at Penndale Middle School over the course of three years, I was pretty disappointed to leave; however, I was excited to take on new challenges and reap the benefits of the endless opportunities and variety of resources at North Penn High School (NPHS). To accurately capture how NPHS developed my passion for education, I’ve decided to divide and conquer. In this post, I’ll be covering the classes and extracurricular activities and organizations, and the following post will revolve around the staff.


Simply put, NPHS offers a ton of classes. I think it’s important to point out two main characteristics of the classes offered: the level of difficulty and the variety. When it was time to schedule, I always found myself wanting to take more classes than I could fit into my schedule, because I always felt like I was missing out on an interesting class or an opportunity to challenge myself.

Having the chance to attend a school that not only recognizes, but also supports the varying performance levels and interests of their students is crucial. In doing so, NPHS embodies the idea that education is not one-size-fits-all and recognizes the importance of exposure.

Reflecting on all of the classes I had the opportunity to take at NPHS, I have to say that I appreciate each and every one of them. Each class allowed me to realize the importance of providing our students with rich academic experiences through a variety of classes offered at different levels. Not only that, but I’m grateful for what I learned and how I was prepared.

While I loved all of my classes, courses like News Journalism and AP Literature and Spanish are just a few that allowed me to pursue my passion and interests. In addition, once I came to college, I realized how much of an impact one single class can impact you. I find myself regularly referencing the classes I was fortunate enough to take.

Extracurricular Activities and Organizations

With over 75 clubs and activities offered at NPHS, there proves to be something for everyone. Emphasizing the importance of learning experiences available outside of the classroom, NPHS cultivates an environment that not only places an emphasis on academic achievement, but also pursuing individual interests and experiential learning. 

The clubs and activities allow students to experiment with the concept of membership, showcase their talents, pursue leadership opportunities, and learn how to manage academics and extracurricular activities. Because NPHS is home to over 3,000 students, getting involved in the unique, diverse culture makes the large environment feel more like a family.

When I try to imagine NPHS without The Knight Crier, the sports department, the theatre and arts programs, the International Friendship Committee, the flyers for different club meetings, fundraising events, etc., I always wonder how high school would have been different.

I think that the clubs and activities are what make NPHS so unique. The high school is so inclusive, and it’s a special feeling to know that your high school supports its students. I always had the feeling that NPHS was always awake; the building was always being used for something, whether it was a baseball game, play practice, or various club meetings.


Thank you, North Penn High School!

Penndale Middle School: A turning point in my education

I remember I spent the night before my first day of middle school wide awake for what felt like hours. After finally falling asleep, I woke up ridiculously early to make sure I was prepared, dressed, and early for the bus. Because I felt so at home in my elementary school, I was pretty nervous about transitioning to a new environment, where I would have to learn everything from scratch. What I didn’t know then was that this new environment, Penndale Middle School, would be the home of the discovery of my passion for education. Throughout this post, I’m going to discuss how the size and diversity, opportunities, and staff at Penndale helped develop my passion.

Size and Diversity

Amongst the three middle schools in the district, Penndale was the largest. While the size and number of students was a bit intimidating at first, I quickly realized the benefits of attending a large public school. Not a day went by that I didn’t meet someone new, whether it was a student, teacher, or staff member.

With such a large student and staff population, the diversity in my school was incredible. Throughout my three years at Penndale, I was able to interact with and learn from students who came from different backgrounds, spoke different languages, had different interests, etc. Penndale made me realize that being different is what cultivates an enriching learning environment.


Throughout middle school, I was involved with various sports, clubs, and organizations. I ran and eventually managed Girls’ Track and Field, was a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Harassment and Bullying Intervention Taskforce team, served as a student liaison for the district’s Educational Foundation, and volunteered for various events.

Having the chance to take advantage of the countless opportunities at Penndale, I realized that some of the richest, most influential learning experiences occur outside of the classroom in an uncontrolled environment. With that said, I’ll always appreciate the fact that Penndale allowed their students to involve themselves with extracurricular activities to explore their interests and expand their knowledge.


I decided to save the best for last. While size and diversity and opportunities undoubtedly played a major role, the staff at Penndale is who truly allowed me to realize the impact that education can have in a student’s life. Each teacher that I was fortunate enough to have and staff member that I interacted or worked with, made me want to come to school. It was the staff’s passion that made me excited to learn and challenge myself.

I think that when students feel supported by and connect with the staff in their school, their feelings about the environment of school improve. If I had to characterize the Penndale staff in five words, I would describe them as inspiring, passionate, supportive, encouraging, and considerate. Because Penndale is home to too many wonderful staff members, I don’t want to name anyone specifically and accidently leave someone out. I just want my readers to know that the Penndale staff cultivated a positive learning environment that I will forever be grateful for.

Thank you, Penndale Middle School!

How York Avenue paved the way for my passion

Over the course of thirteen years, I had the privilege of being a student in the North Penn School District (NPSD). Throughout my educational career at NPSD, I discovered my passion for education. If it weren’t for the excellent academics, plethora of opportunities, and highly qualified, supportive, encouraging staff members in the district, I’m not sure where or how I would have discovered my passion. Although I’ve always tried my best to show appreciation towards the district and those who have helped me, I know I can do better.

By dissecting the origins and development of my passion, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to acknowledging who contributed to the discovery and development of my passion in each post. I decided to make a little spoiler alert by outlining the general anticipated blog post schedule:

  • Week One: York Avenue Elementary School
  • Week Two: Penndale Middle School
  • Week Three: NPHS Classes, Clubs, and other opportunities
  • Week Four: NPHS Staff
  • Week Five: NPSD organizations

With that said, it’s time to talk about York Avenue. As an elementary school student, I definitely was not thinking about my passion, because I probably didn’t even understand the true meaning behind the word at that point. However, while I was unaware of the possibilities for the future, I think my experience there allowed my passion for education to develop positively.

Looking back, I value the fact that the school was so small (I think my sixth-grade class had about 60 students), because York Avenue always felt like home to me. I went to school with and grew up with the same group of kids that lived in my neighborhood, so I often thought of my peers as family. I think this type of environment that I felt from York Avenue is crucial in any elementary school, because it sets the tone for how students will view school in the future.

In addition to the atmosphere and environment of York Avenue, I want to take the time to acknowledge the teachers I had and staff members that I built a relationship with. If it weren’t for the caring, dedicated teachers that I had, like Mrs. Roach, who put on the annual third grade play, or Mrs. McGuire, who helped me develop my writing skills, I don’t think that I would have enjoyed class so much. I’ll always value the relationships I made with the staff, too, like the custodian Mr. Wayne and the secretaries Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Brennan.

As a student in college, I appreciate the nature of my educational experience at York Avenue on a much deeper level. The teachers and staff members didn’t simply come to work; they came to educate and inspire young minds through interesting lessons, projects, and discussions. I strongly believe that my positive experience at York Avenue led me in the right path to discover my passion. As I pursue my goal to become an educator, I will always remember these experiences and never forget how influential a teacher, staff member, or learning setting can be. Thank you, York Avenue Elementary School!