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Teachers deserve more respect than they've been shown

| April 6, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

Not only was I born and raised in Libby, I was educated in the fine school system you represent and have nothing but fond memories of my experiences.

I was raised by a wonderful, hard-working woman. Because of my mom, I grew into a productive, responsible adult. As a mother myself, I know what an impact I will have on my children's lives. However, I also realize that the other adults in their lives will also mold them in many ways. I had three other "mothers" in my life during those years growing up in Libby. You see these ladies as mere "employees." To me, and many others, they were and have been much, much more.

Rose Goyen continues to have an impact on my life. She may never know how much her encouragement meant to me. She was an excellent teacher but at the same time a wonderful example of what a lady should be. It's because of her that I continue to write and pursue a dream of one day being published. She went above and beyond anything expected of her.

Paula Darko-Hensler taught me things that, after close to 20 years after graduation, I use every single day. I was not the most talented seamstress. She and I would spend hours doing more seam ripping than any other student. She never gave up on me. Because of this, my children have listened to the hum of my sewing machine as I have made many wonderful quilts and countless Halloween costumes. My family enjoys meals she taught me to prepare. She became a friend to me, spending her own free time listening to me practice skits for speech and drama. (What torture that must have been!)

Kathy Dunham was an enormous influence in my life and continues to be a role model. Not only did she open up a world of fine literature for me, but she taught me that learning doesn't have to be boring. Because of her, my three young children know Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost. She taught her students not only how to read and write well, but how to live decent lives. Without her influence, many students wouldn't have done as well in school.

These fine women are more than just mere employees. They have helped to .raise thousands of students in your community. They've sacrificed a lot over the years to give your children the best education possible. If they were soldiers, they'd be receiving medals of honor for their years of service. You should be ashamed of the disrespect you have shown them.

Theresa Schultz-Proctor

Class of 1988