Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

As a way to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the Choices team reflects on teachers who changed our lives for the better.


In case you haven't heard, it's currently Teacher Appreciation Week! Since Choices magazine wouldn't exist without our wonderful teacher subscribers, we're definitely celebrating the occasion. (But let's be honest—they deserve credit EVERY day, not just this week!)

While Choices focuses on the lives of teens, there's no denying that educators play an important role in shaping their minds. The perfect example of this is Eric and Mr. Wettrick's story, which was featured in our magazine last fall.

Mr. Wettrick & Eric. | Alan Ingram for ChoicesMr. Wettrick was 15-year-old Eric's broadcast journalism teacher, but became so much more. He helped Eric change his mindset and lifestyle for the better. Together, the two began a healthy journey filled with fitness, nutrition, and most importantly, self-esteem.

As Eric said himself,

I want to take care of myself and maintain a healthy lifestyle to feel good—both inside and out. I'm confident that I'll stay on track, because Mr. Wettrick taught me something that's even more powerful than broadcast journalism—how to believe in myself.

In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week and amazing teachers like Mr. Wettrick, the Choices team decided to reflect on the educators who had a huge impact on our own lives. Here's a list of our most influential teachers!


“Everything he said has been so integrated into who I am as a person.”

“One of my most treasured possessions is the spiral notebook I used over 30 years ago to take notes in the English class taught by the professor who changed how I thought about reading, writing, and the world. As it’s currently in my sock drawer, I still leaf through it from time to time. Everything he said has been so integrated into who I am as a person, that I’m sometimes taken aback when I see, for example, that my love for a particular book actually began when he told would say ‘write this down’ and proceed to recommend books, poems, short stories that I had never heard of until that moment. Thank you, Gordon!”

— Judy Goldberg, Executive Editor


“He pushed me to pursue every available opportunity, even those I thought were impossible.”

“My most influential teacher, Mr. Nick, wasn't just my high school journalism teacher—he was also my yearbook advisor, radio advisor, and track coach too. He saw the spark of my passion for writing and reporting, and he pushed me to pursue every available opportunity, even those I thought were impossible (including a job writing for our local newspaper when I was just 16!). Most importantly, though, Mr. Nick was appropriately tough, and he taught us all that talent meant zip if we couldn't meet a deadline or didn't make it to practice on time. I still hear his encouraging voice when I'm trying to figure out the lede to a story or make it one more lap around the track in my neighborhood…15+ years later!”

— Kim Tranell, Deputy Editor


Through her class, I discovered and explored my love of writing.

“I've had plenty of outstanding teachers over the years, but none stand out quite like my high school English teacher, Mrs. Walsh. She taught me more than I ever expected about analyzing literature and writing essays. Through her class, I discovered and explored my love of writing. She also introduced me to many of my favorite books (To Kill A Mockingbird, The Awakening, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn—the list goes on and on). Mrs. Walsh's class inspired me to not only study English in college, but also to turn writing into a career. I'll always be grateful for that!”

— Jamie Primeau, Assistant Editor


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! An extra special thanks to our hard-working and dedicated Choices Teacher Advisors—including Amy Lauren Smith, who writes a weekly health blog for us. We appreciate everything that all of you do!