• May 5 is National Teacher Day and many eighth-grade students from Bellefonte Area Middle School took the time to write about their favorite teachers and thank those who have helped them prepare for the next step in high school. The week of May 4 also celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.

    To see other student letters to teachers, visit this link: Teacher Appreciation Week. High school seniors recognize their favorite teachers. You may also see a video from administrators, here: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Learn more about National Teacher Day, here: National Teacher Day. It is observed annually on the first Tuesday of the first full week of May.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD

    To: Mrs. Laura Albright, sixth-grade math teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    albright 19 Your class was the first class I ever got a B in as a quarter grade and it’s been the only one since. When I got that B I totally freaked out, but looking back, I wanted to thank you for preparing me by giving me that B, because that helped me not to have such high expectations of myself that I can't always reach. Also, thanks for not being too annoyed when I hit a volleyball on the roof last year in activity. I'll miss you.

    To: Mrs. Renee Besecker, seventh-grade math teacher
    From: Kaylee McFadden

    Thank you so much for literally everything. I loved going to your classroom for help on anything and everything. You helped me so much when I was having hard times in life. You not only helped me with math, but through life. There are no words that I have to explain to you how I feel. I wish I could explain how many things you've helped me with last year, but there were so many different things – this would be the longest thank-you letter I would have written. Thank you so much for everything that you have done and taught me. It really isn’t every day that you find a teacher who you can talk to everyday about anything. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. You’ve really impacted my life so much in so many different ways.

    To: Mrs. Kathy Carra, health and physical education teacher
    From Bailey Hoff

    carra 17 When I saw the opportunity to thank my favorite teacher, you were the first person who came to mind. You are a very energetic person who is very approachable and a good listener. Middle school was awesome. It wasn’t just fun, but it also helped teach me who I want to be. You are a big part of that. You have been my teacher for the last three years and I am so thankful for that. You are always so energetic and fun, no matter what. When my whole class is tired and doesn’t want to do anything, you have a way to make us get up and have fun. By the end of class, we are all smiling because of you. People always say that you can go to your teachers if you need help with anything, even if it is personal. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Theoretically, this is good, but you are still our teachers. When I needed someone to talk to, I knew I could count on you to help me.  You are not only a teacher who instructs us, but also a person who is comfortable and approachable. Last but not least, I want to thank you for always being open to our ideas. There are days when what you have planned for us, isn’t always something we are looking forward to. Instead of telling us to deal with it because that is what we are doing today, you listen to us. In the end, we might still be doing what you have planned, but you made sure that we were OK with it. Perhaps you said that we will be doing what we wanted to do next class. I’m sure others would agree with me when I say that we feel like we don’t get to voice our opinions as much as we would like to. With you, you listen to our opinions. I can’t say thank you enough, Mrs. Carra. You have been one of my favorite teachers ever. You have not only changed time in middle school, but my life. I will always remember you and will miss you very much in high school.

    To: Mrs. Kathy Carra, health and physical education teacher
    From: Kaylee McFadden

    Wow, you have been my gym teacher for two years, but to me you are more than a gym teacher. You are one of the teachers that I can go to for more than just what you teach. You are such an amazing teacher in so many ways. I can remember one day that you saw that I was upset so you asked me what was wrong. So, I went to talk to you about what was going on and you helped me so much through that whole situation. I love that you might be a gym and health teacher, but you are so much more than that. Thank you so much for everything. You have impacted my life so much.

    To: Mrs. Kathy Carra, health and physical education teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    Every time I had gym with you, you always brightened up my day, no matter how tired or grumpy I was. You are so positive and an awesome person. Even when I accidentally spilled your drink that one time, you were still cheerful. I liked helping you with getting out the equipment, and opening and closing the doors/hoops. I was really looking forward to the days to come with you as my teacher. Good luck with your running in the future. I'll really miss you.

    To: Mr. Andy Caruso, eighth-grade science teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    You are probably the best science teacher I've ever had. One of the things that contributed to that was how you let us work at our own pace with a set deadline for everything. That helped us to learn time management and how to prioritize work. These two skills are essential in high school and life after that. Thank you. Also, I really enjoyed how we had a lot of labs and guest speakers and I kind of wish I had more time in your class. I'll miss you.

    To: Mr. Matt Cernuska, seventh-grade social studies teacher
    From: Kaylee McFadden

    cernuska 17 Thank you so much for cheering up my day every day. You really know how to make someone's day go from bad to actually kind of good. I had an amazing year with you. It was one of my favorite homerooms. I loved how we could talk about camping. I still loved how we could talk about stuff that I don’t usually talk about. I am so happy to have you as one of my teachers. You taught me so many things. I wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done. You really taught me a lot of things.

    To: Mr. Matt Cernuska, seventh-grade social studies teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    Mr. Cernuska, I know I wrote you a note last year, but I decided I'd add to it. To be honest I sort of thought your class was a little boring in the beginning of the year, but that helped me realize that not all classes will be interesting. As the year went on, and we had the quarterly projects, you saying “you know” and it sounds like “yo,” and the tree you drew on the whiteboard when you were explaining how Christianity branched out into different religions. I loved that tree. It grew on me, and I ended up loving your class and realizing you are a really good teacher that enjoys teaching your students. Also, thanks for being a cool student council adviser – even when Gabby and I pestered you after the elections during class. Even though I lost the election, I'm pretty glad I joined student council. It was nice helping out with the dances and spirit days. I'm going to miss you.

    To: Mr. Michael Friel, eighth-grade math and learning support teacher
    From: Isaiah Buttsfriel 17

    These years in school were some of the best years of my life and it wouldn’t be as special without my eighth-grade teacher Mr. Friel. He helped me figure out stuff and we also had a lot of fun in his room. 

  • To: Mr. Dave Gregor, sixth-grade science teacher
    From: Kaylee McFaddengregor 17

    Thank you so much for all the funny memories we had. I love being able to go into your room and see what type of mood you were in. You taught me a lot of things about science, even though I never was a fan of it. Somehow you still made it fun especially with all those projects. Some of those projects were the best. Thank you so much for everything.

    To: Mr. Dave Gregor, sixth-grade science teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    Mr. Gregor, you are a pretty cool science teacher. Thanks for making my sixth-grade year fun. I loved all the tiny projects we made – layered earth, gliders, earthquake simulation and more. Also, thanks for being a good advisor and preparing me for high school yearbook. You always put so much effort into our yearbooks and its appreciated.

    To: Mr. Keith Guiswite, seventh-grade language arts teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    guiswite 17 You are a fantastic English teacher and I liked being in your homeroom last year. Last year when we had book talks, I really liked how you had the option to have a Google Slides presentation or standing there and speaking as our book talk. It made seventh-grade English stand out more than any of my other English classes I've had. Thanks for being awesome.

    To: Miss. Sam Hubley, sixth-grade English-language arts teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    I know I didn't have you as my sixth-grade ELA teacher, but I wanted to thank you for being such an amazing advisor to me this year in Chain Reaction Club. You are so positive and outgoing. Not many teachers I know go the extra mile like you do. Also, I wanted to thank you for being supportive with me and the pick-me-up box. Please keep in touch with me on how that turns out in the future. I'm going to miss you.

    To: Mrs. Kathy Kalbach, seventh-grade math teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzyckikalbach 19

    I didn't start off the year having you as my teacher, until I switched to Algebra 1. But after I switched, I got to have an awesome teacher like you. You showed me that you really cared about your students. By having our homework graded so we can see our mistakes and when we didn't have enough class time to prepare for the Keystones you held after school sessions for us. I'm sure you didn't want to do those sessions, but since you cared about us, you decided you would sacrifice your time for us. Even though I couldn't make all the sessions due to track, I'm glad you held them. Thanks for that.

    To: Mrs. Jennifer Kerr, sixth-grade social studies teacher
    From: Kaylee McFadden kerr 19

    Thank you so much for all that you have done for me. You taught me so much about how to take notes and so many other things. Sixth grade was a hard year, from moving up from elementary school to middle school, and learning new ways to learn, plus new people. There was a lot and next year isn’t going to be easy either, but I know that I will have another amazing teacher like you that will guide me through high school. Thank you so much for being there for me when I needed someone. It's not everyday you find a teacher that you can trust to talk to about things that happen in your life. Thank you so much.

    To: Mrs. Jennifer Kerr, sixth-grade social studies teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    Mrs. Kerr, you are such an awesome teacher and a good advisor. I wanted to thank you for teaching me that there are different ways to achieve the same goal. Also, thanks for helping me learn how to type properly, even though I still don't type the right way, and for reinforcing how students should learn how to write in cursive.

    To: Mr. Kelly McManus, eighth-grade math teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    mcmanus 16 You are such a cool and awesome teacher. One time last year in the morning you helped me and a friend with problems in our Keystones packet. That was really nice of you even though we weren't your students yet. Then this year when I got you as my teacher I was happy because I already knew you were a good person. In class, I really liked how you asked us about our weekends almost every Monday and most teachers don't do that. It showed you cared about us as people in and out of school. Also, I liked how you had our packets with people’s faces on them, because it made learning kind of fun – trivia and the ball-basket game, got to hit “the spot” – all these things made coming to math class a little less dreadful, but I'm still sticking to my “dreading-math-for-14-years” thing. I wish I had more time with you in your class. I'm going to miss you.

    To: Mr. Jim Nye, eighth-grade science teacher
    From: Emmalyn Shawleynye 19

    Thank you to all of my teachers these past few years. You guys rock! Specifically, thank you Mr. Nye for teaching me so many new things, even if it's not science, and making me a better student. We always had fun in your class!

    To: Mrs. Julie Renne, orchestra teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    You are an amazing orchestra teacher. During our lessons, rehearsals or movie nights, you didn't just teach me new skills that I use with my violin, but also you gave me good advice that really helped me out. I was always happy to end my day with us doing rehearsal. And now I can't wait for the coming years when I have rehearsal every day. Thank you.

    To: Mr. Michael Snyder, eighth-grade math teacher
    From: Kaylee McFadden

    I don’t even know where to start. This year has been so fun and I loved coming to talk to you about everything in the morning. I miss that so much. I wish I could just talk to you one more time. I love the way that you teach math – you have made math so much fun for me. I never liked math in elementary school and you have helped me through it so much. There are so many amazing stories that we have together. I just wish I could tell you how much you have impacted my life and how much I love math. I wanted to thank you for everything that you have done for me.

    To: Mrs. Nicole Tucker, art teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    tucker 17 You are such an inspiring and creative person – and an even better teacher! I really loved having art with you in the last two years, plus in Art Club. You really helped encourage me to keep making art even when I got busy doing school work. I loved doing demonstrations in Art Club and I wish we had more meetings together. I'm going to miss you.

    To: Señorita Ashley Waite, Spanish teacher
    From: Lauren Skrzycki

    I wanted to let you know that you are one of the best teachers I've ever had. The way you showed that you cared about your students made me enjoy coming to fourth period every day. You always did everything you could to help us learn. Even when we were all quiet and didn't really participate in class, you gave us a speech about how you can't teach like that. It showed me that you cared about us as people not just “I got to go and teach these kids every day; I'll just get it over with.” When you had your speeches, it let me know that you knew we couldn't learn and be prepared for Spanish there, let alone high school next year if we were like that. Additionally, you made learning fun with all the activities and games, but it still had learning creatively woven into it. Typically, I would give my teachers a note at the end of the year to say all this, but that really can't happen. And I thought you still deserved to be thanked. Thank you for making my eighth-grade year so awesome.