100 Heighe Street · Bel Air, MD 21014 · 410-638-4600

The Bellarion

The Bellarion

The Bellarion

Thank a Teacher This Week!

Before Thanksgiving, we interviewed some BAHS teachers to ask how they’ve impacted our school community.

Many people will discuss the impact of their teachers on their lives. Whether it be positive or negative, we have grown up around them. They can teach you more than what is required in class. A teacher that leaves a positive impact takes the conversation out of the classroom.

Starting a class by asking how a student’s day is going so far can put them in a better mood than asking how they felt about their homework. I wanted to highlight how different teachers try and impact their students in different ways. I went to Mrs. Megan Lukasavage, Mrs. Kristin Maddox, Ms. Haley Ford, Mrs. Janis Kozak, and Mr. Brandon Meixsell and asked them a few questions about their experiences.

Margaret Ermentrout and Mrs. Lukasavage.

The first teacher I spoke to was Lukasavage, and I asked her about how she tries to make relationships with all her students. “Ways I build relationships with my students are to attend their extracurricular events because those are things that they find important. So, I find that if they value that and they see me valuing that, it helps build relationships. Also, it takes our conversation out of the classroom.” I caught the moment that Lukasavage talked about taking the conversation out of the classroom. In hopes of learning more about it, I asked ways that she tries to do this. “I always do the question of the day. Which is just a silly question that every kid in the room gets to answer, and it helps me [get to] know them.” 

Maddox starts her impact on students before they are even in elementary school. She is the teacher that runs “Little Bobcats.” When asked about her advice that she would give to new teachers, she told us, “My advice for a new teacher to have a successful class is to make sure that you form solid relationships with your students and know that they’re actually people and have all different personalities and learning styles.” It didn’t go unnoticed that she voiced having relationships with your students can allow the classroom to be more successful. Having relationships with your students can make them look forward to coming to class, and sometimes want to learn.

Story continues below advertisement
Mrs. Maddox (left) and Ms. Ford (right). (Eva Trujillo)

Ford has created a fun and inviting classroom quickly here at Bel Air. I wanted to see how she was able to make an environment that is successful and enjoyable all at the same time. “I think that it’s more successful if you have relationships with your students because you get to know them, they feel more comfortable in the classroom, and the environment can be more fun.” When you show an interest in your student’s life, and that you care about them enough to create those relationships, this allows the classroom to excel. Students will have a better mindset to learn and interact with their teachers.  

When Kozak was asked if she had a teacher that impacted her in a way that makes her want to impact her students, she told us, “I absolutely did, she was my high school Spanish teacher in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. She was absolutely amazing, I loved her dearly. I knew by midway through sophomore year that when I grew up I wanted to be exactly like she was.” If you have a teacher that can impact you in a special way, it really can change your life. Sometimes to the point of choosing a career path, or even just your outlook on life. Kozak was lucky enough to have a special teacher at that time in her life. You can see the way she cares for her students the way her high school Spanish teacher did for her.

Riley Manzo and Mrs. Kozak.

Meixsell told us the teacher that had a large impact on him was “My high school football coach and PE teacher. He is the reason why I chose this job myself. He was a great role model, and at times it was like having a second father in my life. He provided guidance at times that I hope to provide for my student athletes myself.” Having two teachers tell us about their own high school teacher impacts them enough to want to be like them, shows they truly want the best for us. Teachers want us to do our best and become our best selves.  

Our teachers try to impact us, just as their teachers impacted them. We must learn to understand where they come from. All they want for us is the best, they want to see us grow and excel. What teachers have impacted you?