Stories of Inspiration: Teachers Making a Difference

Now announcing the selected stories and their charter school donation recipients!

Stories of Inspiration: Teachers Making a Difference

Now announcing the selected stories and their charter school donation recipients!

Most of us have had teachers who helped changed the trajectory of our lives; who were able to get us to believe in our abilities and our promise; who said, “You can do this!” and never let us forget it; who left indelible impacts on our educations. For our President and CEO, Stuart Ellis, that teacher was Mr. Dewey (see Stuart’s story of Mr. Dewey here).

As we celebrate Charter School Capital’s 10th year in supporting charter schools and their students and teachers across the country; and in honor of Richard Dewey, we want to give recognition and thanks to the teachers who’ve impacted our lives.

We asked for your Stories of Inspiration. And we heard many wonderful, truly heartwarming stories! Our review board had the challenging job of narrowing them down to the Top 10 most inspirational stories – whose authors are being awarded the honor of selecting a charter school to receive one of 10 $1,000 school grants.

Here are the top 10 selected stories of our 2017 Stories of Inspiration program, with thanks to all who shared their stories (links to more than 100 of the top stories below) with incredible honesty and beautifully stated gratitude. And to the teachers who inspired them.

2017 Selected Stories of Inspiration and Donation Recipients:

“Miss Archer,” By Henry Buford – Donating to Brooksville Engineering, Science, and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Academy
“Miss Archer hugged my mother and said, I’ll take him into my class and make sure that he learned how to read. I can still remember her giving me a hug and telling me she loves me no matter what color I am.” Read the full story.

“Mr. Presley,” By Shay Angelo – Donating to Gem Prep: Pocatello
“He had seen me. He had seen potential in me… By the time I left Four Corners Elementary School, Mr. Presley had opened my eyes to what was inside of me and gave me a passion and pride for learning which exists to this day. Invisibility was never again my standard of success.” Read the full story.

“Mr. Weber,” By Casey Frensz – Donating to Upper Mississippi Academy
“Now, the roles in life have changed and I am the teacher. My curriculum comes courtesy of the man who changed my life… I love my job, and it feels amazing to have my own middle school dream of becoming a teacher come to fruition. I owe this passion and direction in my life to one of the greatest men I’ve ever met, John Weber.” Read the full story.

“Mr. Barglow,” By Berenice Cortez – Donating to Education for Change
“Mr.Barglow inspired me to educate others… Mr.Barglow past away a couple years ago but his legacy still remains. He changed my life and I will always be grateful for that. I want to do the same for others. Something that I always try to keep is a smile on my face.” Read the full story. 

“Mrs. Joe,”  By Zoey Mahlmann – Donating to South Sutter Charter School
“…Mrs. Joe is helping to change my life every day by teaching me. She shows me that even though school and learning are so much work, I can do it. She believes in me and now I believe in myself too.” Read the full story.

“Mrs. Hall,” By Nicole Aleman – Donating to Learning Foundation Stapley Campus
“I have taken everything I learned from her to help me become the teacher and person I am today. Because of her I understand the importance of knowing my students and making that connection with them. Letting them know they are much more to me than just a test score and I really do care if they are successful or not. I take the time to know what they like and dislike. I show them they are so much more than what they think they are and that with hard work they can achieve anything.” Read the full story.

“Mrs. Mendoza,” By Jenifer Hunt – Donating to ASU Preparatory Poly STEM Academy
“Mrs. Mendoza’s passion for doing what is right is the reason ASU Prep Poly STEM Academy is a safe environment for staff and students to reside during the school day. When issues arise, she thoroughly investigates and reflects over the best plan and outcome for the situation. Her strong ethics are felt by students, staff and families alike…” Read the full story.

“Mrs. Hart,” By Dr. Ernestine Barnes-Small – Donating to Charleston Development Academy 
“…the two things that holds strongest to me is that there is truly ‘no such thing as can’t’ and that discipline and hard work is NOT negotiable. These blessed teachings are the foundations of my life successes, and are what kept me motivated throughout my life. Though I did not realize it at the time; they prepared me for the success that I didn’t expect from my experience with Mrs. Hart.” Read the full story.

“Mrs. Bejarano,” By Stefanie Contreras – Donating to ASU Preparatory Academy 
“She knew that in my role, she would have a lot of great advice to help me acclimate. Once again, I am following in her footsteps, to not only be the best I can be for myself but for the children too. And that, if my mother is any example, is a lifetime commitment that I am proud to say, I learned from her.” Read the full story.

“Mrs. McCarthy,” By Veronica Melvin – Donating to LA Promise Charter High School #1 
“For the first time in my education, I was challenged to learn at higher and higher levels… She supported my love of learning by encouraging me to go beyond what she was teaching the rest of the class.” Read the full story. 


The review board:

  • Ricardo Mireles, Executive Director of Academia Avance Charter School
  • Dr. Darlene Chambers, Senior Vice President for Programs and Services at the National Charter School Institute
  • John Cairns, Attorney and Consultant at John Cairns Law
  • Janet Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer at Charter School Capital

Want to read more submissions of great teachers? You can find many of them here: