Education Nation

Education Nation

A solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America

Top Teachers Still Going Strong

By Kristi Nelson
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 AM CDT
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Kristi Nelson, NBCDFW.com

Kristi Nelson talks about two teachers who made a difference in her life as part of the Education Nation.

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A caring or engaging teacher can make the difference between success or failure and are often the people we never forget.

The most influential teachers I ever had taught subjects that had little, if nothing in common, but both played a role in giving me what I needed to succeed.

I remember the first day of my first journalism class ever, it was at the Talented and Gifted Magnet High School in Dallas, and Sandy Hall-Chiles was my teacher. She remembers me, too.

"I already knew you had the journalism bug in you early,” Hall-Chiles said.

Hall-Chiles made me editor-in-chief of our modest school newspaper. She taught me to be truthful, helped turn me into a storyteller and essentially launched my career.

Her current students at Yavneh Academy in Dallas produce a slick, award-winning publication and know more about writing and developing ideas than some media professionals.

Chemistry was definitely not among my strengths, but I'll never forget my high school chemistry teacher, Deborah Maner.

She confirms that I was one of her most difficult students, but wouldn't let me give up, even when I complained her homework assignments gave me nightmares.

“That’s part of what it takes for a student to develop,” she said.

Maner still teaches at the School for the Talented and Gifted, now recognized as the top public high school in the country.

"I just love the students, I like the small atmosphere, I love the way everyone is accepting and tolerant of differences at this school.”

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