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BHS Top 1- seniors explain the most influential people in their lives

April 24, 2014

Cristian Alvarado, son of Juan and Yolanda Alvarado - Most Influential Person Amber Reed
While thinking of who has influenced me the most throughout my high school career, different teachers and staff come to mind. It was not until my senior year that I finally found that one teacher who influenced me the most. I hope you understand that many people here at Bremen Senior High School appreciate what you do every day. Going into my senior year, I signed myself up for your marketing class, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about it. People always say how hard it is, but honestly, I didn’t think it was that hard because you made class enjoyable every single day. I remember two days into the term you came to me outside of class and told me that you enjoyed having me in class. That left a big impression on me because no other teacher had ever told me that before in person. It was at that point that I decided that I wanted to do my absolute best work in your class and that kept me motivated. I spoke out in class and took the initiative to take part in class discussions, and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made because I think that’s how you and I connected. After my experience in marketing, I finally decided to join DECA my senior year, and I have learned so much from it and have made some great memories because of it. One of the most memorable moments that I have in high school occurred in Sports and Entertainment Marketing Class. We were on the topic of social media, and I spoke out and I gave what I believe was the best mini-speech I have ever had in class, and you were so impressed about how much I knew about social media. I remember you saying that companies should hire me to run their social media accounts and used me as an example to the class. That made me feel great not only because I had grasped the concept of the lesson but also because I knew that all my time on social media wasn’t a waste. In Computer Graphics and Design I also took my motivation to another level and have created some of my best Photoshop work in that class. I am so glad I took your classes as a senior, but one of my biggest regrets is not taking them earlier in high school. You have a vast knowledge of the business world, and you teach it in a way that now the business world fascinates me more than ever before because of your teachings. You also have a vast knowledge of the students you teach. You always know when something is troubling me; you don’t hesitate to ask to talk about it and help me out. I hope that one day I can have a successful career because of what you have taught me, and I will never forget how much you have impacted my life.
Dania Alvarado, daughter of Cesar and Maria Alvarado – Most Influential Person Sarah Wesselhoft
I have known about this letter since my sophomore year when I heard them read on stage. The top ten students were reading their letters aloud to someone who had inspired them throughout their high school career. That day, I knew who I was going to write my letter to: my amazing and talented coach. I am writing this letter to you because you have influenced me greatly and you are one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I could not imagine writing to anyone else but you. When I first came into color guard, I was nervous. All of the other girls were veterans and knew how to do everything perfectly, and then there was me, trying to learn everything that came so easy to them. I remember learning my drop spins and speed spins and you were always helping me to learn them. That was the first time you told me that I was learning very quickly and you were surprised with my progress. But it did not end there. You continued to say I picked things up quickly and soon I felt much more confident than I had in the beginning. Even though I was the only new person on the team, I was welcomed. Thanks to you, I gained a new family and confidence. Next came winter guard season, which I also joined. I was so excited and I loved being with the team again including some new faces. I remember one time at practice when we were learning a special toss in the show. I tossed it and it hit me right in the face, leaving a big bump right on my forehead. No matter how much it hurt, I still continued practicing even though you offered to let me sit out. It was a pretty bad hit because you can still feel the bump on my forehead today. Of course, that was not the last time I got hit, but I still continued to love guard. Just like in life when you fall or get hurt, you taught me that you must learn to continue on no matter what. Life may be unfair at times, but that is life and you must move past all the difficulties and learn to love life and those around you. You showed me guard is a lot like life: sometimes it is difficult and hard but in the end when you put on that show, you realize it was worth all the cuts and bruises. Thank you.
Allison Cullers, daughter of Dave and Kathy Cullers - Most Influential Person Kathy Cullers
As I think back on all of the influences throughout my school career, it just seemed obvious of the impact you have had on me, not only as a mother but also as a teacher. I can think of numerous times you have been an influence, but that might have something to do with the fact that I have been around you for eighteen years. It is because of your love of your students, and me specifically, that I chose to write this letter to you. Calculus. It is up there with Comp in the list of dreaded ACP courses, but I came to enjoy it. You always had a story to tell in class, even if I was in your story. I guess it was your job to embarrass me as a mother, and it still happened when you became my teacher. I didn’t mind it though because it kept the class and me interested, and I guess it “toughened me up.” I could never get you to call on me when I raised my hand, but the best way to get your attention was to make a goofy face in your direction. That always made you stop in your tracks, probably because it didn’t happen very often with other students. It was your ability to bring humor into the class and interact with your students that allowed me to see you outside of our family setting and in the real world. You aren’t any different at home or at school, which could be a bad thing, considering just how crazy I think you are sometimes. Our relationship has grown over the last few years, especially with my being in your classes. I want to say thank you for all that you have done. Without you in my schooling, I doubt I would have been as successful. You have always been pushing me to be my best in everything I do. I will forever remember my calculus class as the best class of the day, not because of the material, but because of the fun we had while learning. Thank you, Mom.
Jacqueline Hundt, daughter of Chris and Sheila Hundt – Most Influential Person Amber Reed
Since freshman year, I have known I would need to write a letter to the person who influenced me the most while I was in high school. As a freshman I had no idea who that person would be if they would be a teacher, a coach, or a staff member. Although I have had many teachers, coaches, and staff members influence my life, I could not think of another teacher who was as influential as you are. You taught me so much about business, a subject I never thought could ever really be interesting. As a teacher, you helped me with more than just business classes, you pushed me to be the best I could be inside and outside of school. While the Bremen School District has many inspiring teachers, I choose you because not only did you push me to achieve what I wanted to in school but you also made my years in high school very enjoyable. When I came into high school, I knew I would miss some of my classmates as my senior year ended but I never imagined I would miss a teacher. You influenced me more than I could ever say in a simple letter you taught me to push myself and do what I thought was right. As I prepare to leave this school, of course I will miss some of my fellow classmates, but I will also miss you, a great teacher, an amazing DECA advisor, and all the memories we have made throughout my four years in high school. I hope that you stay at Bremen for many years to come to make a positive impact on future generations of students. Today, I want to take the time to thank you for everything you taught me about school and about life. I do not think I could thank you enough for all you have done for me, but for now, I guess this letter will have to do.

Jorgi Klockow, daughter of Chuck and Krista Klock – Most Influential Person Mark Yoder
In the four years of knowing you, you have become my most influential Bremen School affiliate. In those four years of being under your instruction, I have witnessed you constantly helping and encouraging many people including me. You have been a great guide to me through these years. I have never been athletic, so I was completely timid when I had freshmen PE and even more so when I learned that we had to do a football unit. Somehow you had faith in me, even after seeing me hopelessly try to kick the football for several days. One day you told me to “get angry” and kick it as hard as I could. Though the result was not what I was hoping for (I missed it, but did produce enough wind to make it fall over) my determination grew because for once someone expected me to be more athletic. People had never tried to help me be more athletic before, and I appreciated that you pushed me. This kind of expectation of excellence, or in my case, little improvement, is what has made me a better person. You are constantly pushing me to improve in many different areas of my life including academics, athletics, and faith. You have a way of sneaking life lessons into class, which make the classes more applicable, such as when you read a Martin Luther King Jr. quote to the Current Issues class about striving to be the best in whatever you do, even if it seems trivial. This kind of dedication is what you expect from everyone, showing no favoritism. Your great expectations for everyone helps to make people want to work hard. In track I can expect to hear a pep talk before running, which is helpful when all I want to do is throw up because I am so nervous. And when I do throw up, I know that you will give me a high five (or pat on the back depending on where it went). During track you remind the team to always be growing in excellence in all areas of life. Lastly, and most importantly, you have helped to advance my faith. Your support for Fellowship of Christian Students has been an immense blessing as you give advice and challenge us to be a light in the school. While many coaches care chiefly about people as athletes, you care for each athlete as a person, wanting him or her to become the very best they can be. Thank you for helping me realize what I should not become (a football player), but more importantly, thank you for guiding me to a path of persistence and personal growth.

Aimee Nabholz, daughter of Richard and Nancy Nabholz – Most Influential Person Jennifer Heiter
Every time I thought about a teacher to write this letter to, my mind always turned to teachers who had never criticized my work. Ironically, I chose the teacher who criticized my work the most, as sometimes that’s more important than praise.I still remember when you called me up to your desk to talk about my first draft of my first analytical paper for ACP Composition. Deep down, I thought my paper was pretty good, given the myriad of excellent grades I’d received on my papers in other English classes. However, I quickly learned that—surprise—this was not a normal English class. I became more and more exasperated as you went through a seemingly endless list of everything that was wrong with my paper—from a very flawed thesis to my one-and-a-quarter inch margins. When you were done raking my paper over the coals, I figured I must feel the same way a mom would feel if someone insulted her kids—pretty offended. I’d written what I thought was a good paper, and this was my reward? I didn’t even get a single piece of advice on how to fix all of these “flaws.” But then it occurred to me: Maybe, just maybe, you didn’t give me advice because you knew I would figure it out. And as I looked over my paper, I grudgingly admitted that maybe I hadn’t put as much work into it as I had thought, and with my ever-growing case of Senioritis, I figured that simple laziness could possibly be a factor. It was then that I decided that if I sat down and did the work instead of scoffing at your criticism, I’d be able to write great papers. After all, maybe you knew how much I could improve, even if I didn’t see it. So thank you for showing me what I was capable of. I might have been frustrated when I had to rewrite my paper—well, papers—from scratch, but I see now that in the end, it was definitely worth the effort.

Alyssa Richards, daughter of Dan and Emily Richards and Jennifer Shambarger – Most Influential Person Ashley Boardman
Everyone tells us that the four years we have in high school will go by fast. I never took that statement seriously. Going through high school, I’ve always realized that one day I’d have to write a letter to the teacher who has impacted me the most. I’ve had four years to decide who it was, and it’s been a bit challenging to figure it out because of all of the amazing teachers we have at Bremen, but I did. I’ve never been a very athletic girl. In fact, everyone who has seen me in elective PE, powder puff, or intramural basketball knows that I have two left feet. Whether it’s falling down every five minutes or getting hit in the head with the ball, I always try to make the best of it. I tried to find something that I could enjoy and be good at. I never realized that Art was something that people could do as their high school activity. I’ve been in the Art Club for four years now, and during my junior year we got a new art teacher, Ms. Ashley Boardman. I didn’t know you very well other than being in the Art Club. My first Art class with you was Photography II. It was the first time I had ever actually gotten to use Photoshop. You noticed how quickly I learned how to use it and how often I used it outside of class projects. Unfortunately, I had only one art class that year, but clearly it was enough to see my true talent. You elected me as the Outstanding Junior Art Student that year. I would’ve never expected that. And now today, as I write this to you, I am the Art Club President going to college to major in graphic design because you saw something in me that most people could never see; which was the potential to do something great in the art field. I hope that you stay at Bremen for many more years, helping students find their potential and doing something they love to do. You are a great art teacher, and we are lucky to have you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Morgan Smith, daughter of Jerry and Karen Smith – Most Influential Person Kathy Cullers
As I was thinking of whom to write this letter to, there was one name that continuously popped into my head: Mrs. Cullers. You are the only one who understood my madness when it came to school and grades. The only one who took time to go beyond the extra mile to help me succeed not only with your class but also with getting through high school in general. I have one word to say and that is CALCULUS! It is one of the hardest classes I have taken along with ACP Comp. However, you somehow managed to make it the class I looked forward to the most. Your encouraging words and hilarious stories made the class go by a little easier. As high school went on, you were not only a teacher to me but also a “counselor” I guess I could say. I remember plenty of times when you told me I could, and I said I could not. In a way I would say that at times you had more faith in me than I did. On my toughest days you somehow were able to make me relax and smile because you knew exactly how to help. You are the only one who understood my perfectionism because you are a perfectionist too. While other people thought I was crazy for being upset about having a 93%, you understood that it was definitely not okay. Even though people thought we were insane, we both understood each other. All those times I was worried about my GPA dropping you would sit down with me and calculate exactly what I needed to get in a certain class. I will never forget the days that you helped me get through finals, whether that was crying with me or just being there for me to vent about how stressed I was. Whenever I had a bad test in calculus, you knew to give me my space, but I could always count on you to hunt me down the next day to talk about how to do better. Many of those times not only did I end up in tears, but you did too. You did not just cry with me, you also cried with my fellow classmates because you understood how frustrated we were. I have never seen a teacher care so much about each individual student like you do. You had a way of influencing me to be the best that I could be in the math room as well as in life. I want to thank you for never giving up on me and always helping me when I needed it. Whether that was coming to your house late at night to get help or taking the time to help me during school. I am very grateful for all you have done for me and I do not think you hear that enough. You have made such an impact in my life by showing me how much you truly care. You were always there to help me troubleshoot a problem or had a shoulder to cry on when needed. Words could never describe how truly thankful I am, and I hope you know how appreciated you really are.
Rebecca Young, daughter of Tammy Young and Robert and Kathy Young – Most Influential Person Cassie Creighton
When asked to write a letter to the most influential person, there was no doubt in my mind on who to choose. I started my senior year thinking you would just be my supervisor for work in the afternoon, but I realized I was wrong. You became a good friend and someone I could turn to for anything. There were afternoons where I would come into the office upset and discouraged after turning in comp papers and taking calculus tests, and you would remind me that everything would work out and be okay. Somehow you always knew what to do or say to turn my mood around. One memory that instantly comes to mind is when I cut my thumb making dinner and had to go to the doctor. You asked if I wanted you to bring me dinner since mine was obviously ruined. While that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to many people, it really made an impact of what a caring person you really are. When I first started working in the office, I was constantly afraid to make a mistake answering phones or doing announcements at the end of the day. You taught me so much while working in the office. I also learned things from you that will help me when I’m on my own in college. I just want to thank you again, not only for being a great coworker but also for being there whenever I needed someone to talk to. You’ve had such an impact on my life, and I’ll always remember the laughs and good times we shared. You always reminded me that I could do anything I set my mind to. I can honestly say my favorite part of my senior year was working with you in the office and becoming good friends.
Claire Schmidt, daughter of Bruce and Debra Schmidt – Most Influential Person Kathy Cullers
I want to thank you so much for your time and dedication as a math teacher at Bremen High School. You have helped me far more than you could imagine; without your willingness to stay after school to go over math with me or your patience to go over and over a single problem repeatedly until I understood it, my transcript and outlook on math would be a lot different today. Before I came into your class, my favorite part of math class used to be the end. Before, I had trouble staying focused in class and had no idea what to make of what seemed like to me a jumble of random numbers and meaningless words, with the occasional Greek letter thrown in because YOLO, right? In addition, I would get so frustrated with not knowing how to do the math that I would often give up in despair, certain that I would never understand it. But then you came along, with your quirky games, odd stories, and an even odder love for math. Even though at first your enthusiasm for math made me want to bang my head repeatedly against my desk, you still made math class so much fun and so much more interesting than it ever had been before that I started to see math in a slightly different light. Oh, I still hated the math that was not addition, but with your help I began to slowly tolerate it. However, what I will take away the most from your class is your kindness. You cared about each individual student, and the fact that you take time to get to know each student and greet them with a smile in the hallway or ask them how they are doing always made me feel like more than just another faceless student in your class. So with all of that I just want to say again, thank you.

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