Somewhere along the way, most of us have had a teacher who influenced our lives in a big way. Perhaps a teacher encouraged us to pursue a particular interest or skill, challenged us to push the limits and achieve more, or saw something in us that we were unable to see on our own.
During the first full week of May, communities across America will celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to reach out and pay tribute to over 7 million men and women nationwide who dedicate their lives to educating children.
Teachers play an important role in the lives of our children, our communities, and our nation. Our teachers pass knowledge on to the next generation. They help guide our children through their early years and inspire them to strive for success.
I look back on my years in the Pasco public school system with many fond memories of teachers who helped shape me into the person I am today. I imagine that most Americans can reflect on their school days and remember some special teachers who made a real difference in their lives.
The most important factor in a student's success in school is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. It takes a special kind of person to become a teacher. I commend Central Washington teachers for the time and energy they devote to our children and the dedication to their profession day in and day out.
One of those dedicated people is Central Washington's very own Jeff Charbonneau, a science and physics teacher at Zillah High School. Jeff had the opportunity to spend the week in Washington, D.C., where he was named National Teacher of the Year at a ceremony at the White House. I am proud that one of Central Washington's own teachers was selected to receive this prestigious national award and will represent our community as he travels around the country as an ambassador for education in the coming year.
Teachers do not always receive the appreciation they deserve. I would like to say thank you to all the hard working teachers, especially those in Central Washington, who are educating the future of our great country.
This week, I encourage you to extend a "thank you" to a teacher who has made a difference in your life.