During Teacher Appreciation Week, I think it is only appropriate that I thank one of the most influential teachers I ever had, Casey Boland. It isn’t ironic at all that she taught my government and economics classes during my senior year of high school and now I work in public policy. The opportunities for learning, dialogue, and reflection abounded with major events such as the Bill Clinton Scandal and the Columbine Massacre. Ms. Boland was the perfect teacher, mentor, and friend to lead the path for us.
Ms. Boland treated us like adults with approachable yet deep discussions on extremely serious issues, engaging policy debates, and thought-provoking case studies. Exams were tough but meaningful. These were no doubt the classes and the teacher I worked the hardest for in all of my K-12 years.
I left high school with every intention of pursuing a political science major. However, a fashion major and short career later, I made the switch to teacher and eventually education policy. It did not take long to realize I knew my true calling back in 1998 in Ms. Boland’s classroom—I just took a longer path to get to my final destination.
Now that I have a Master of Public Policy from Vanderbilt and work daily to improve public education policy for all Texas children, I still think about what I learned in government and economics nearly two decades ago and the journey Ms. Boland sent me on. It is my sincerest belief that every student in Texas deserves a teacher like Casey Boland…a few if they’re lucky.
I call Ms. Boland my favorite teacher, but I am even more blessed to call her a friend and colleague. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for your students.Print