Great Teachers - Eva Varga

December 19, 20082

I recently discovered a post by a friend about great teachers and was inspired to write a similar post. I have had many wonderful teachers in my life. Without a doubt this is certainly a reason why I entered the field of education myself. Though many have touched my life at varying points, outside of my parents and family members, the three that follow have had more influence on who I became as an adult than any other.

Paul MacDonald – Junior high track coach, high school basketball coach, and math tutor. Though initially my coach – Paul became so much more. He will forever be a dear friend. I miss him terribly and frequently wake up crying thinking of him. I never had the opportunity to tell him how much his friendship meant to me. He believed in me when even I did not. He encouraged me to pursue a dream (running) that I did not even realize until many years later. I run for him.

Bill Powell
– My English professor at Lane Community College. An amazing man that taught me to question everything and not take things for granted. Through him, I became more aware of other cultures as well as my own … of how society can persuade individuals to act, sometimes contrary to their own moral compass.  I also know that my love of good literature is due to his influence.  I’ve discovered many authors and been exposed to genres I would not otherwise have without his influence.

Minnie Gnos – My mentor teacher during my final trimester. Besides teaching me classroom skills beyond anything I ever dreamed, she has taught me about believing in oneself when others doubt you. She also taught me to stand up for myself and fight the system. To not allow the system to change who I am as an individual. Though I am no longer in a classroom – I came out of the teacher education program with my true self intact.

Thank you for everything you have done for me. Without your guidance and your passion, I would not be the person I am today.


  • School for Us

    December 21, 2008 at 4:25 am

    I’m so glad my post “inspired” this post! I had some wonderful teachers as a child, too. (particularly jr high and high school) I might have to post about that and what they meant to me.

  • Ben P

    March 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Looking back on my days at LCC – where I was getting pre-engineering stuff out of the way prior to going to Oregon State – the prof that contributed the most to my growth as an engineer was Jamie Sokolowski.

    The prof who contributed the most to my growth as a *human* was Bill Powell.

    It’s been over 20 years since then. While I am certain that many profs taught me a lot about their specific subjects, when I see how I look at the world, what questions I ask and how I find the answers, it’s Powell who influenced me the most.

    Those were the last of the pre-internet years, so there is precious little about Powell online. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about him with us.

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