We at the Bill of Rights Institute appreciate the work you do everyday to educate the next generation about our Founding principles and our history. We value the sacrifice you make and know your dedication to your students is making a life-long impact! As a staff, we took a few moments to reflect on the teachers in our lives that made a lasting impact – I hope you enjoy “meeting” our favorite teachers! Earlier this week, a few other staff members shared as well!


Several Teachers

I had the privilege of teaching at my alma mater alongside several of my former teachers.  Mr. Williams (choir), Mrs. Thomae (Latin), Mr. Aschen (math), Mrs. Jurek (speech) English teachers Mrs. Alderete, Ms. Schritter, and Mr. Gregory—these are just a few of the terrific teachers to whom I am indebted.  I cannot pick just one favorite teacher.  But I can identify a couple of common characteristics of all these great educators, and these two characteristics are deeply intertwined.  One: they valued excellence and held high standards, refusing to settle for less than their own best in instruction, or less than their students’ best in learning.  Two: they cared deeply about their students, always seeking new ways to bring out the best in each individual.  They knew that they were leading us in an important work and they cared too much about us to let us get by with inferior results.

-Gennie Westbrook, Director of Professional Development

Mrs. Whepley, Television/News 9th-12th grade

I’ve been fortunate to have many amazing teachers in my life, but Mrs. Whepley has had the biggest impact on me.  For four years at North High—and in the years since, as a colleague and friend—she has shown to me the significance of being an individual, the value of stating what you believe even if it’s unpopular, and the importance of courage in the face of difficulty.  I count myself lucky to have had her as a teacher, and to consider her a close friend today.  Mrs. Whepley truly changed my life.

-Andy Gillette, Director of Program Development

Mrs. McDonald, Physics 12

Mrs. McDonald was my favorite teacher because of her great passion and dedication to helping her students understand the concepts, and really made Physics come alive! Her love for her subject, and desire to help her student learn in a style that made sense to them made us feel empowered to learn new things.

-Rachel Gillespie, Director of Communications

Mr. Mitchell, English 12

Mr. Mitchell was passionate about his subject and his enthusiasm was contagious. One thing he did that I especially appreciated was allow us to write our essays as many times as we wanted if we weren’t happy with how we’d done. We could always keep the highest of the grades, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that learning was truly valued.

-Veronica Burchard, Senior Director of Instructional Design

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