Do not forget your roots

Sometimes, I forget that high school was a time of self-discovery.

Often, I try to ignore this fact, but when it comes down to it, many of the things that happened to me while in high school made me into the person I am today.

 A lot of that has to do with the many wonderful teachers I had during that time.

Easily the most influential teacher I had was Kristin Baker. She was my journalism instructor and helped me discover a love for writing and editing.

Not only that, but she connected me with Adam Knapp, a newspaper editor at the time, who hired me to work for his newspaper while I was still in high school.

It’s because of Kristin that I became a journalist and fell in love with storytelling. For that, I am eternally grateful. I am also so happy that she and I have both participated in the Flint Hills Media Project the past two summers because that gave me a chance to interact with her with a traditional journalist/editor relationship.

She wasn’t the only teacher who influenced me. My band teacher, Ray Linville, taught me valuable leadership skills that I have used numerous times in my role as the editor of the Sunflower. Thanks to him letting me be a drum major my senior year, I was able to learn how to lead a large group of people, something that has been invaluable in helping me lead things at the paper.

Sarah Koehn, who allowed me to get involved in theatre my senior year, taught me to always have fun, even when the stresses of life seem overwhelming, especially with work.

It is because I had so many teachers in high school influence the person I am that I take issue with many of the things Gov. Sam Brownback has done in regards to education.

The biggest problem I have with him is when he signed a bill earlier this year, stripping high school teachers of due process rights when facing termination from a school.

Brownback’s reasoning was that if incompetent teachers faced termination, they would not be able to fight to keep their jobs.

While this may sound like an ideal situation, it also negatively impacts those teachers facing termination who deserve to fight for their jobs.

I can’t think of a single teacher I had who wouldn’t deserve a fight if facing termination. Teachers do more than just teach students. They help shape them into well-rounded people that can make this world a better place.

I’m forever grateful for the teachers I had in high school and the ones I have now at Wichita State.

They have all helped me become the person I am today.

Remember the teachers who shaped you to be the person you are.

And remember that Brownback took away their right to fight for their position, should they face termination.

Something to think about when you head to the election polls.