by Jenniffer WARDELL
NORTH SALT LAKE —Teachers help shape the future.
Abundant Life Assembly of God in North Salt Lake once again said thank you for that with their annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet, held last Friday at the church. The banquet honored several local teachers, the majority of whom were from Davis County, who had been nominated by students in the congregation.
“I have this theory, that every teacher leaves a mark,” said Pastor Alex Lucero. “In the whole process of time, you change lives.”
He went onto say that the change took a long time, and required the involvement of a lifetime of several different teachers. But between all of them, he said, they helped make each and every one of us who we are today.
“You take this young life,” he said. “You build it, you shape it, you challenge it, and then you send it on to the next craftsman.”
Because it takes so much time, and the combined work of so many people, he added that sometimes individual teachers might feel their contributions might not be worth much. If they could see the bigger picture, however, they would know how much of a difference they made.
“Just because you feel like you’re invisible doesn’t mean you are,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a long time to show up.”
Jennifer Graviet, a junior high teacher and member of the Utah State Board of Education, agreed.
“You may not be everything to everyone, but you’re always something to everyone you teach,” she said.
Each nominated teacher was shown a video from the nominating student highlighting things about the teacher that were special to the student. The student then went up front with the teacher to accept the award.
“I was just very thrilled and honored,” said Maria King, a teacher from South Davis Jr. High, about being nominated for the award. “I love my job, but getting a little recognition goes a long way.”
It also gave a chance for those who don’t teach to get more insight into the experience of being a teacher.
“I don’t think people realize how much compassion and empathy goes into teaching,” said Jessica Grant, another teacher from South Davis Jr. High who was recognized. “Good teachers forgive kids every day for the things kids do.”
That compassion is one of the ways teachers help shape their students for the future.
“I feel like I have a larger impact, and what I do makes a difference,” said Scott Hunter, a teacher from Spectrum Academy who was also recognized. “In business, I didn’t feel like I was helping people the same way.”
That impact is felt well beyond the church. Davis School District Superintendent Reid Newey spoke at the dinner as well, not only sharing his own fond memories of teachers he’d had but honoring all the teachers in the county.
“We’re so grateful for our teachers here in Davis district,” he said. “I have yet to go into a teacher’s classroom in Davis County where the kids haven’t been thoroughly engaged and getting something great every day.”