Gentle Place Publishing
working towards a gentler world - one word at a time!

This page is a place to honor those teachers who touched our lives.  Most of us have had one or two special teachers who have touched us deeply and changed the course of our lives.  Some of these teachers know it, but many do not. This is a place to immortalize them and give them the recognition, honor and respect they deserve. If you would like to have someone listed here, click on the link below and send us an email.  Come back soon and see the results.  If you are lucky enough to have a digital photo of your special teacher, send it as an attachment and we will display it along with your comments. (We reserved the right to select which submissions to publish and to edit comments as we feel best suits the needs of this site.)

Submit a Tribute

Tribute to: Susan Bley, Dana Point, California

My daughter...had a teacher at Horizons in Dana Point...the kids call her Susie...she really had an impact on my daughter at a time that was very difficult for her...Susie teaches kids who aren't always the easiest to reach, yet she loves her kids unconditionally and really strives to give them a quality educational experience....she shares her many interests, including oceanography and sailing, with her students, even arranging to get weekly sailing lessons at Dana Point Harbor for her classes.  She also connected with the Marine Institute there for frequent field trips for Goldie's class......

I think that having such a positive experience with a teacher like Susie at such a pivotal time, was invaluable for my daughter.

Submitted by: Artemisia Hunt

Tribute to: Mr. Alan Croll and Mr. Isadore Perlman, West Vancouver High School, B.C., Canada

I am so glad of the opportunity to pay tribute to two teachers who 'served' their students at West Vancouver High School, B.C., Canada -- many years ago now.  The opportunity to express my gratitude to them personally is now lost, as they have both passed away, but I've thought of them often over the years and each deserved to wear  their calling as a crown of gold.
Heartfelt thanks to my English teacher, Mr. Alan Croll whose love of teaching didn't preclude explaining the 'why' of things.  He saw his students as individual thinking human beings who deserved to be listened to and heard, not merely receptacles to be filled.  As a result, they learned much more than they might otherwise have done.  Loving the nuances of language, I happened to be one of those students who probably tried his patience with my questions, but was also one to whom he loaned books from his personal library -- a confirmation and bounty that wasn't lost on me, even as a teenager.
Equal thanks to the consummate Teacher who taught me math -- Mr. Isadore Perlman.  A gentle, soft-spoken soul (and again one who treated everyone with respect) he made sitting in his classroom a positive joy.  He had the God-given gift of making the most obtuse understandable -- so much so that under his guidance 'math' became an enjoyable -- and comprehensible -- subject, rather than a stressful one.  

Submitted by: N. E. Hoyle, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada

Tribute to: Mrs. Connie Mundrick, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California

In 1965, just before my second year of college I was seriously considered dropping out. I had a great job at Beckman Instruments and I was not doing well in college.  I decided to give school one more semester.  Before registration, I asked around about English teachers.  Someone recommended Mrs. Mundrick.  I took the suggestion and signed up for her class.  Mrs. Mundrick changed my life.  Suddenly “English” was about communication, it was about what you felt in your soul and about finding ways to express it.  There is no way I can convey in these few words the gratitude I feel for Mrs. Mundrick. I would gladly travel anywhere in the world to lay flowers at her feet and say, “Thank you!”  If anyone knows where Mrs. Mundrick is, I would appreciate an email or phone call (contact).

Submitted by: Steven Fletcher

Tribute to: Mrs. Julie Smith, Martin Luther King Jr, Middle School in Oceanside, CA

I am grateful to Mrs. Julie Smith for being a part of the continued educational, social and emotional development of my son, Nicholas.  I hold teachers in the highest regard and feel that your contribution to our children and society is of the utmost importance.  You are an exceptional human being who has helped to further my son’s journey in life.  The King Humanitarian Award which was awarded to my son, in part by your motivation, moved me to tears. To be educated and to be considered a person of noble character is truly a priceless gift.   From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Submitted by: Lollie Binley

Tribute to:  Mrs. Fernandes, Fatima Convent High School, Margao Goa, India

Mrs. Fernandes was my language teacher in seventh grade. I credit my love for reading to her. She also introduced me to Scrabble . She was so vivacious and I can still recollect her laughing away all my worries and fears. Even while suffering from cancer she made it seem not so dreadful . I miss her a lot and just want to say what a profound impact she had on me.
As a teacher today, I try to be the kind of teacher she was.

Submitted by: Mildred Lobo

Tribute to:  Dr. Gerald Haslam, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California

In the fall of 1974, while attending Sonoma State University I signed up for three literature classes planning to drop two. By the time I attended Dr. Haslam's class there was no longer a contest. The class was called "The Short Story" and it had a profound effect on my life and on my vocation. He stripped away the jargon until you understood the concepts and were interested in knowing the name of the literary concepts. By that time I had fallen in love with short stories and with literature in general. Dr. Haslam is not only an effective teacher but an accomplished author and still writes from his home near the university where we first met. You can see read about his work and purchase his books at:

Submitted by: Steven Fletcher

Tribute to:  Sr. Theresa Mary, Fatima Convent High School, Margao Goa, India

When I came first to Fatima Convent High School for admission to the pre-primary, Sr. Theresa Mary interviewed me. She asked me to identify objects, colours, numbers etc and I did very well. She then gave me a chocolate and I was thrilled. It was the first time that I had come in close contact with a nun. I later met her at her residence a few months before she passed away. She was too ill then to attend office and one would have to go to the residence to meet her. What surprised me was that she was very cheerful in spite of her suffering and I admire her for that.

Submitted by: Shirley da Cunha

Tribute to:  Mr. Richmond, Riverview Elementary School, Riverview, Florida, U.S.A.

My second grade teacher was Mr. Richmond and I will never forget him: I hope I can meet him in the "afterlife" life. I was a shy, "gifted" (sensitive and confused!) child in a place and time where no one understood such things, and Mr. Richmond was a gifted teacher and an innovative one. He taught me in a class that was two classes in one (second grade and third grade combined). I am sure most teachers would have found this burdensome but he made it into an opportunity to help both classes. His brilliance was putting the kids who "went" together in the middle and taking better care of both groups of kids who didn't quite fit in one group or the other. He took a lemon (having to teach a half and half class with twice as much work) and made it better for all the kids. I didn't feel picked on or singled out -- I think he did this very gently and graciously.

And he had all of us do a project, a physical project, like a diorama or maybe growing a plant, for each subject. I think we all loved him -- I know I did. I thought he looked like President Lincoln, who always seemed to me to have a very kind face.

I wonder if he ever knew how much of an impact he had. Bless you Mr. Richmond!

Submitted by: Carroll Straus

Tribute to: Mrs. Helen Goodykoontz, Christiansburg High School, Christiansburg, Virginia.

Mrs. Helen Goodykoontz taught me Junior English and Senior English in high school.  Mrs. Goodykoontz was always supportive and encouraging.  And I remember how she encouraged us to read, read anything, just read.  She also encouraged me to think for myself and to be proud of my abilities. Mrs. Goodykoontz has since passed away and she was indeed a positive influence on my mind and on my soul.

Submitted by: Jay Bender

Tribute to: Mrs. Rutherford, Millers Creek School, Phyllis, Ky.

Mrs. Rutherford lived and worked in the Pike County school system, in Ky. The school was the Millers Creek School.    The post office nearest to the former location of the school is Phyllis, Ky. The school was shut down due to building of the Fishtrap Dam in eastern Ky. The school was closed in 1963, the children rode the bus to Grapevine Elementary. Seven one and two room schools were closed and the children came to Grapevine Elementary Parents found that most of the children were more advanced than those already in this school, some were backward socially. A book has been written about these one and two room schools and will be out in 2011.

Submitted by: Pauline Looney

Tribute to: Pauline K. Looney, Simms Creek School

Pauline K. Looney is one of my favorite teachers and remains a good friend to this day. Mrs. Looney taught in a one room school building at Simms Creek in Pike County, Kentucky for many, many years with a great devotion and love for her students. She had this special way about her that made her capable of reaching out to those who were having some difficulty learning and keeping up with their classmates. She loved each and every one of her kids as she often called them. Mrs. Looney seem to find time to be a great teacher, wife, mother, daughter, sister. Mrs. Looney to this day keeps up with her former students: like where they live, how they are doing in life, offering to still help out if they should need anything. She does a great job at helping her former students and friends get in touch with each other over the past years. Mrs. Looney now lives on Lower Johns Creek, in Pike County, Kentucky. She is still very active in giving of her time to volunteer work at the hospital. her church, her former family (students) and helping with her wonderful grandchildren.

Submitted by: Glema Smith

Tribute to: Tr. Rose

Tr. Rose was a very loving and understandable teacher who taught me when I was in grade 7.She always understood the children and would treat us with love and care.She never made us feel lonely in times of trouble.Whenever we had problems she was always there to support us.

Submitted by: Sharonelle D'Silva

Tribute to: Mr. Wilburn, Beyer High School, Modesto, CA., USA

Here is a set of six words: Loud, Committed, Vocal, Love, Explore, and Discover.  While these words are very different, they are also very similar. That’s because they are used to describe one man to a tee, his name is Mr. Wilburn. To know Mr. Wilburn is to experience him. Mr. Wilburn was the history teacher I had in my junior and senior year of high school at Beyer High in Modesto CA. He … taught me that the words Loud, Commitment, Vocal, Love, Explore and Discover lead to one single word and that word is passionate.

You must be passionate about what you do and who you are … Imagine you are sitting in history class and are getting ready for a speech from your instructor. You have never encountered a class with this teacher so you don't know what to expect.  He steps up to the podium and clears his throat... “Good Morning ladies and gentlemen” he starts, then it happens. He pounds his fist on the podium as he begins. Whether it was the speech “FOUR SCOORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO or I HAVE A DREAM!  You were there. You could see, feel and experience what it was like to be there. Because he worked hard to take you there. He lived and breathed his speeches. 

People from other classes had to stop their class and join ours because they couldn't teach because he was that loud.  And they accepted it. Because he loved what he did and who he was. He was passionate about teaching, and those who left his class took some part of him away with them as they went.

The two things I will always remember about Mr. Wilburn is one, his passion and commitment as he taught his students, and two, his unspoken acceptance to let me be who I was and who I wanted to be.... and that's a writer.  But the life lesson I will always carry with me is his unspoken lesson that said YOU WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL UNTIL YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL.  Your life is yours, live it, experience it, and be passionate about it.

Mr. Wilburn will forever be in my heart and soul because he is the reason I pursued a career in writing and did so with vigor and determination and most importantly:  PASSION

Submitted by: Debra Johnson

Tribute to: William Maina Boit, Rael Tangwar, Mary Chemai (Lelei), Stanley Samba, Peter Nyarotso, Emilio Emongochel, Betty Emongochel, Thomas Ruamwenge, Veronicah Gachie, Shiphrah Ruamwenge, George Okwara and Mr. Ochiel, all from Lelmokwo High School, Eldoret, Kenya

Throughout the years of adolescence, when we are at our most vulnerable state, when we are still struggling to reconcile ourselves to the adult world, there are a few who stand by us and help us through our moments of uncertainty. These people can be anyone-a friend, a parent, a sibling, a priest, a teacher.
Today is a special day. Today, we recognize the great sacrifices that our teachers have made for us, and today we commemorate those who have taken up the task of educating us, and guiding us through life itself. Today, I honor my high school Teachers who made me what am today.

Submitted by: Alexander Kipkosgei

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