Thank-A-Teacher program enables community to recognize outstanding educators

Zoe Cook

As the school year winds down, Reaching Heights, a nonprofit that supports the CH-UH public schools, is holding its annual Thank-A-Teacher drive to recognize teachers and foster an atmosphere of appreciation in our schools.

Parents and community members can pay tribute to a Heights teacher by making a contribution to Reaching Heights in honor of that teacher. The teacher receives a note of thanks, the teacher’s principal is notified about the honor, and Reaching Heights uses the donated money to fund its small grants program to enable school-based projects at CH-UH schools.

“Teachers are vital to the success of all students,” said Patrick Mullen, director of Reaching Heights. “Reaching Heights invites the community to thank the people involved in creating safe and productive school days for our children for the work they do.”

Following are a few of the notes of appreciation written by Cleveland Heights High School seniors.

Zoe Cook: Mrs. McDade was my ninth grade World History teacher and my AP US History (APUSH) teacher. She truly cares about each of her students and always pushed me to do my best while also being very supportive. APUSH was definitely the most challenging course I have taken at Heights. Her personal story of being in the Peace Corps was very inspiring and sparked my interest to travel abroad.

Marcus McShepard: Dr. Feldman has inspired me from the first time I had her as my ninth-grade English teacher. She would always tell me that academics, not athletics, were going to get me [the] scholarships I needed. And now, with my grades and my athletics, I am going to a very prestigious college for free.

Ling Qi: Mrs. Biermann, my English as a second language teacher for seven years, played an important role in my life. She was always helping me with my school work, giving advice for my personal problems, sharing good news, and was always happy about my achievements. She was like a grandmother who always took care of me at school.

Ian Kraus: Ms. Bauer-Blazer was my inspiration. I took AP classes from her every year: AP U.S. History, Comparative Government, U.S. Government, Economics Micro and Macro. She makes class exciting and challenging with debates, discussions and projects. She's a genuinely nice person who takes the time to know her students. She constantly takes on new challenges herself, which makes her a dynamic teacher.

Sarah Klein: Mrs. Bradshaw, my AP Chemistry teacher, motivated me. AP Chemistry has been my favorite class throughout high school, and although it was hard, I learned a ton. She was always there to answer questions and help her students. She wanted them to learn the material thoroughly, not just get the grade. She has had a significant impact on my choice of a major and career goals.  

Cornelius Pewu: My soccer coach, Sean Sullivan, has always motivated me. As a freshman playing on the varsity soccer team, he took me under his wing and shaped me not only into a better player, but also into a well-rounded student off the field.

To make a donation and request a recognition card for a Cleveland Heights-University Heights teacher, coach, principal, custodian, secretary, or other school employee who made a positive difference in the life of a child, visit

Krista Hawthorne

Krista Hawthorne is the assistant director of Reaching Heights.

Read More on School News From Reaching Heights
Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:24 PM, 05.10.2013