Read the stories our alumni shared during Teacher Appreciation Week!
Liza Wilson '16
Looking back on my thirteen years at Westminster Catawba, I can see ways in which every teacher left an impact on me but two women in particular stand out in my mind.
I spent many of my high school days in Mrs. Christopher’s room either working on the Yearbook, preparing costumes for the Spring Musical, meeting with various clubs, or just retreating to her couch when life got overwhelming. Through the countless hours, during school and extracurriculars, I spent with Hali she showed me what it means to be strong, kind, adventurous, Christ-like, dedicated, and an overall incredible person. She pushed me to accomplish things I didn’t even think I was capable of and grew my confidence to let my voice be heard. I am beyond blessed to call this incredible woman not only my former teacher but a close friend.
Ms. Regier was the teacher everyone warned you about, her infamously difficult government and economics classes were said to be true preparations for college academics; I quickly found that this was very true. Along with equipping us to take on the real world academically, Ms. Regier instilled in her students the importance of being informed voters, active participants in the community, and having a strong relationship with the Lord. Today I can write a strong persuasive paper and explain the Electoral College all thanks to her.
To both of these incredible women, thank you for impacting me in such significant ways, I will be forever grateful.
Holley Myers '05
I had so many wonderful teachers at WCCS. I believe the ones that stand out the most in shaping who I am today was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Bill Simpson, and math teacher, Mrs. Jan Odom. Fifth grade was a huge year of me growing as a person and in my faith. Mr. Simpson was with me every step of the way, supporting and encouraging me to never give up. He fostered my love of softball when we would play every day during recess. This would lead to me play through high school and immediately in college, where formed some amazing friendships I still have today. He taught me that no matter what I may face, with the Lord by my side I can accomplish anything. He was the first person to show me that being ADHD and having a learning disability would make it a little harder, but I could still excel at school. He made class fun, and I woke up every day excited to get to class.
Mrs. Odom made sure to teach me in a way that I learned more than just math in her class but life lessons I still carry with me today. I can sincerely say without Mrs. Odom’s help I would not have had the amazing mathematical foundation that helped me to graduate from college with honors and continues to help me every day in my career. She taught me that I can be whoever I want to be and can achieve anything if I put my mind to it. I’m blessed to have so many that I would consider still today not just teachers but family. So many teachers at WCCS touched my life and helped to make me who I am today.
Martha Murray Barnes
While at Catawba, every single teacher made an impression on me, but Ms. Susan Bates (2nd grade), Mrs. Anne Ridgeway (4th grade), and Ms. Susan Holmes (math), are the ones that impacted my life path the most. In college I changed my major to elementary education because of my love for Ms. Bates. I played “school” with Barbies pretending to be Ms. Bates. She made learning fun and encouraged friendships. She was nurturing but firm when she needed to be. I wanted to make others feel the way she made me feel as a young student.
Mrs. Ridgeway was not only our 4th grade teacher but also our Chorus/Christmas Program teacher. HANDS DOWN, THE BEST CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS EVER. I can still remember the hand motions we did as we sang “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle!” Practicing for these Christmas programs was the highlight of the year. She also read out of the Good News Bible to us every morning. She read sitting with straight posture on a swivel stool in front of us. And, she read the book of John to us first. We had simple but solid conversations about Jesus as a group of nine year olds, making sure we knew about salvation. Those daily devotions were building a strong base of faith in me and every other student in her room.
Mrs. Holmes was a math teacher and known for not taking any shenanigans from anyone while she was teaching. While I usually had “talks too much” on my report cards, I was scared to even peep in her classroom. Mrs. Holmes taught me that knowing your students was paramount to being a good teacher, and she knew when I became completely lost in that Algebra class. However, she turned that around by staying after school with me until I was back on track again, encouraging me believe in myself at a vulnerable time as a student. Oh how awesome are my memories of Catawba Academy, The Catawba School, and Westminster Catawba as a student, a teacher, and a parent!
Audrey Odom Bisch '99
My time at WCCS was so impactful to me due in large part to my amazing teachers. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Gretchen Gantzer. Mrs. Gantzer fostered my love of literature and helped us develop great writing skills. A favorite memory that I have of Mrs. Gantzer: In British Literature, my absolute favorite, she allowed us to drink tea during independent reading and writing time. She was a firm, inspiring, all-around great teacher. Thank you, Mrs. Gantzer.
Cameron Kirby '10
My time at WCCS was a time of growth, learning, and finding myself. Every teacher at WCCS greatly impacted my life in a different and unique way. One of the most influential teachers was Hali Christopher. Hali was not only a teacher but is a valued friend. She taught me what I was capable of. She pulled a shy, introverted high schooler out of his shell and showed him his love of leadership, public speaking, and taught him the true meaning of Christ’s love. Hali believed in me when I did not and never allow me to fail or doubt myself. She not only was a friend through my time at WCCS but she has continued being a close friend throughout my life and has continued being an encouragement to me in both my walk with Christ and in life in general.
Hali, I love you and thank you for all you’ve done for me!