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A few closing thoughts

McClees Stephens
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyBattle Mountain High School senior McClees Stephens knows a few teachers she wants to thank.
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By McClees Stephens

Senior Section Contributor

Recently, I have found myself staring out the window and imagining myself near the ocean. I can’t help but wonder what I’ll be doing around this same time next year. With graduation only about a month away, I find the idea of college life in California invading my thoughts quite frequently. Yet the mountains are a hard place to leave, especially if you’ve been blessed with as much community support as I have.

I believe it is necessary to reminisce about all the teachers who have truly helped me become “college-bound.”

For recollection purposes, my journey began in Mrs. Joy Ortiz’s first-grade classroom at Red Sandstone Elementary School. Mrs. Ortiz had a smile that made me want to conquer the world. She never put limits on what I could achieve, and developed in me a love for learning. My second- and third-grade teacher Miss Megan (now Laurine Megan-Davis) continued the trend. I can always pick out her unique voice because it was the type of kind, admiring voice that one gets when complimenting another. She taught me so much about writing ” I believed I had found my purpose in life. Before entering fourth grade, I had been taught the importance of love, kindness and knowledge. It was now time to learn the significance of laughter. All my memories of my fourth-grade class with Miss Benter (now Karen Zadcovich) are filled with gut-wrenching laughter. Besides teaching me multiplication and other such fundamentals, Miss Benter taught me that one must never become too good for laughter.

When the awkward years of middle school finally hit, I was blessed with two more wonderful teachers. The first was Misses Stacey Fischer. I looked up to her ” we were once mistaken for sisters ” and I listened to every word she uttered. Misses Fischer taught me the importance of being a strong Christian woman. She demonstrated her convictions every day, and I slowly began to understand how to apply my faith in everyday situations. When it was time for her to move on, Mister Patrick Beaudine was placed into my life. Oftentimes I would find myself feeling out of place, but a few jokes with Mister Beaudine made me feel both intelligent and cool. He was an excellent source of encouragement for me.

Now, although I am excited to finish high school, there are so many teachers here that have helped me along in my journey. I will miss Miss Benysh’s tough love, Miss Wheatley’s oddly charming threats, Mister Leotscher’s embarrassing comments, Mister Cope’s

bar-singing suggestions, Mister Phalen’s painful love-taps, Mister Caudill’s overwhelming kindness and so many more for so much more. It is hard to adequately thank all the staff at Battle Mountain, both teachers and faculty, because so many of them have been beyond excellent to me.

The people that I have mentioned are the clockwork behind my success. They have taught, they have graded and they have stayed up late. But they have done even more: They have directed me in plays, introduced me to Ace of Base, taken me to the movies, invited me to their houses, taught me guitar, given me sweet angels of encouragement, and written me notes of gratitude. Above all, they have gotten to know me for who I really am, fully accepting both the good and the bad. I want to thank you and remember you ” because you are truly cornerstones in my life.

Vail Colorado


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