The week of May 4 is National Teacher Appreciation Week and some seniors have taken the time to write to – and about – their favorite teachers. We also want to thank the other about 200 teachers that serve Bellefonte Area School District for their tireless efforts in providing students with with the best care and education possible. National Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week is also celebrated this week, along with National Teacher Day on May 5.
To see a video from administrators, please visit this link: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. You may also visit this link to see more student letters to teachers for National Teacher Day: National Teacher Day. Eighth-grade students write to their favorite teachers thanking them for help and preparation before starting high school.
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD
To: Chris Freidhoff, science teacher
From: Rachel Lexon
I have had many amazing teachers over the years, but Mr. Freidhoff has been one of the most influential teachers in my life. He strives to help each student as they individually need, while teaching in a manner that is very fun. I had never experienced a class like Advanced Placement biology before, and Freidhoff made one of the toughest classes into one of the most rewarding. He offered study sessions almost every morning – many of which I went to – where students could seek additional help or receive more lecture. These study sessions helped me immensely, and I truly feel as though I learned the content. This really helped me in high school, and Freidhoff is very supportive of extracurriculars, too. I am a world-class equestrian, and I have had some amazing experiences that I've shared with Freidhoff, and he is nothing but supportive in anything I have ever wanted to do. When I interviewed for his AP biology class my junior year, Freidhoff asked me what I wanted to do after high school. I told him I wanted to be a physician with a specialty in something. Now, as I prepare to enter college to do just that, I remember the faith that Freidhoff had in me. I never once have had a teacher that supports me the way Freidhoff has. His AP biology class prepared me for what tough schooling I will have to go through to be a physician. I can't help but thank him for his endless amount of support and advice. I appreciate everything he has done to make me the person I am today.
To: Heather Fry, art teacher
From: Phoebe Rowland
Ms. Fry has become more than just an educator to me, she has become a guiding mentor, a friend at certain times, and even a second mother during the most unexpected moments – like unloading the kiln during Empty Bowls. When you spend every other period with someone for a whole school year, you begin to create a bond that could never be broken, even during the most distant times. Ms. Fry has become my favorite teacher for a multitude of reasons. Ms. Fry, or Frijole as I like to call her when I am feeling goofy, is brutally honest, but heartfelt, as well. She knows when a student needs to hear the truth, but she doesn't do it to bring them shame, rather to better the student as a person and an artist. Ms. Fry opened my eyes, ears and heart when I was shielding myself from the truth. She has helped me grow in more ways than one and I am honored to be able to say that Ms. Fry has watched and helped me grow as a student and person since I was young – fourth grade to be exact. I hope that even after I graduate from Bellefonte, she will continue to help me grow and can witness even more monumental moments in my life. When I leave Bellefonte Area High School, I will surely miss everything that encompasses who she is and her teaching. Ms. Fry will always hold a special place in my heart as an educator and a friend. Thank you, Ms. Fry, for everything.
To: Jess Lloyd, English teacher
From: Tyler Muse
Although I have only known Mrs. Lloyd for a brief period of time during high school, she knew how to put a smile on my face. I had her for journalism for two years, and that class helped me realize what I wanted to do in my future. She worked with me to make me a better writer and how to really enjoy what I was doing. Besides journalism-related work, she always made me laugh and have a good time no matter what the situation was. She would see how stressed out I was and just knew how to handle it. Not only did I enjoy having her in school, my favorite memories come from field trips that we were on. The journalism field trip last year at Columbia University was one of the best trips I have been on and it comes from laughing with Mrs. Lloyd. From having to tell her she is getting us on the wrong subway train to me getting in trouble in Gucci and her acting like my mother and all the events in between – it is a trip I will never forget. The best thing about Mrs. Lloyd is she knew I could accomplish anything I put my mind to and she believed in anything I did. She has prepared me for my future and she has been a highlight to my high school career.
To: Brittany McCamley, French teacher
From: Tyler Muse
I spent the majority of my high school career with Ms. Mac. She was my go-to person in high school for literally everything. I had her for all four years plus my eighth-grade year. French was a language I have always wanted to learn, and having Ms. Mac made it so much better. I want to continue with French in college and this is because of her. I always looked forward to going to French class because it was always something fun. Even taking notes was fun. Being able to be the president of the French Honor Society and work with the club's board to come up with ideas was something I looked forward to. Ms. Mac was always there when I was having a bad day or needed a pick-me-up, which was a lot. She always knew what to say or how to make me laugh or just something little that would make me feel better. She always pushed me to work my hardest because she knew my potential. It was just the little things she did that made my high school career, and I am so grateful I got to spend the time I did with Ms. Mac and it will be something I will always remember.
To: Matt McDermit, math teacher
From: Elizabeth Hargrove
Mr. McDermit has been one of my favorite teachers throughout high school. Not only did he explain math concepts in an engaging way, but he also assigned problem sets, which contained interesting problems that solidified information taught in class. Outside of the classroom, he has encouraged me during prayer group on Tuesday mornings and has written multiple letters of recommendation for me. He genuinely cares for his students, even after they have taken his classes. Thank you, Mr. McDermit, for being my precalculus teacher and for writing so many letters of recommendation for me!
To: Jennifer Moody, autistic support teacher
From: Kevin Doyle
My favorite teacher is Mrs. Moody because she helped me in a lot of things like U.S. history, world cultures and reading. She is a very nice teacher.
To: Chris Morris, social studies teacher
From: Kalista Darney
Mrs. Morris is one of the most amazing people you could ever meet. She makes class exciting and fun each day. She tries to make her students laugh at least once a day. Mrs. Morris has this contagious smile that if you see her smile you can't help but smile yourself. Your mood is lifted to happiness when you are around her. She gets to know her students from day one. She genuinely cares about them and wants to know how their day is going. She will check in with students often to make sure they are doing well. She is very caring and will stop everything to help a student out if needed. She is very easy to work with. She makes sure everyone is treated fairly and respected, as well as having the same opportunities as everyone else in class. Anyone who comes across her path should consider themselves lucky to know her. She is such a positive person and that is exactly what we all need to surround ourselves with. She makes it easy to find the silver lining in things. It is a privilege to know her!
To. Myken Poorman, agricultural sciences teacher
From: Ashley Ishler
My favorite teacher is Mrs. Poorman. She is always so cheerful, peppy and has a positive attitude. From the time I started going to school she has helped me. She has taught me so many things in FFA – per-vey, agriculture and ag mechanics. She never hesitates to help me when I need help. I use to not like to speak in front of people and she help me to open up more to do that – still not a lot, but more than I used to. I am glad I had her as a teacher and will miss her when I graduate.
To: Jonathan Virgilio, math teacher
From: Tyler Muse
Even though I only had Mr. Virgilio my freshman year, he was still a teacher that I had a blast with in high school. My favorite memories with him come from out-of-the-classroom field trips. I have been everywhere with Mr. Virgilio – New York City, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Vermont. Every trip has been some sort of adventure. My favorite was the van ride down to Pittsburgh, where we both were attempting to sing and the other kids in the van had to deal with it. We also rapped, but that was a disaster. I also got to help choreograph Wrong Direction's reunion and that definitely is a highlight of my senior year. Even though Mr. Virgilio and I messed around a lot, he was someone I knew that always had my back no matter what the issue was.