Have you told a teacher ‘thank you’ today? Every year, National Teacher Appreciation Day is observed on the first Tuesday in May. This is a date to honor teachers, mentors and instructors for their contributions – both in the classroom and out.

John Wooden once said, “I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.”

These professionals impart knowledge and wisdom to their students – whether they are willing or not. It can be a thankless job, with low pay and long hours. But, the effects can be tremendous.

Here are some thoughts from the AY Magazine staff on teachers who have had an impact on them:


I taught for a year after I got my undergraduate degrees, so understand many of the trials and tribulations that teachers go through and appreciate all who dedicated their careers to enlightening generations of young people. I do owe a special debt of gratitude to “Mr. Magazine” Dr. Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at Ole Miss’ School of Journalism & New Media. He’s the reason I’m in this fascinating industry, enjoying it everyday.

-Chris Price, Managing Editor


I would like to thank all of my teachers who rooted for me and took personal time to help better me as I learned. I don’t think I would be who I am today if it were not for your care and support.

-Matthew King, Editorial Assistant


It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and every year there are my go-to’s: the ones that introduced me to my favorite books, that allowed me to create my own projects in lieu of class assignments, that indulged me in my manic reactions to the reading, meeting me over coffee so I could talk about how a single sentence was making its appearance in my life everywhere like I was Jim Carey and Marxism or Feminism was the number 23.

However, this year, when I saw the videos of ATU’s Dr. Sarah Stein, a brilliant Jewish woman only a few years into her thirties, reading at a podium during the Holocaust Day of Remembrance while Neo-Nazis screamed obscenities, protesting her right to speak about her blood line and the historical atrocities they faced, outraged that she wouldn’t also deny its existence –I felt more than appreciation. Dr. Sarah Stein: you’re brave, brilliant, thoughtful, strong-hearted, and inspire me to strengthen these qualities in myself.

-Larissa Gudino, Ad Coordinator


The one teacher that always stands out in all my school days is Mrs. Long, my second grade teacher at Florence Mattison Elementary. She was kind, had a heart of gold and taught me to slow down and that being the first one done is not most important – being right is!

-Rebecca Roberston, Production Manager


Great teachers change the course of people’s lives. They can alter the trajectory that a student saw themselves on and set them on new and higher journeys. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” Albert Einstein said. I have been fortunate to have a bevy of great teachers in my life. My high school years – a formative time for everyone – was filled with teachers who took an interest in my endeavors. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Randy Yarnold, Dan and Sherry Phillians, Hugh Hill, Allyson Goodin and many others who helped me on my path.

-Tyler Hale, Online Editor