Shout out to all of the teachers who have and continue to change lives every day. Today is a day to step back and celebrate the ones in our lives, whether it be for our kids or looking back on the ones who have made the biggest difference in our own lives.

Let me start off by saying that this was a very difficult thing to narrow down to only one because I've been fortunate enough to have some incredible teachers throughout my school career. But I did manage to narrow it down to one, and I have no doubt I made the correct choice because here we are 30 years later, and I still think the world of her. I remember the many life lessons she taught and, oh yeah, I remember some stuff she taught in English class during my senior year.

My favorite teacher of all time was a lady by the name of Vickie Wittkop, who was my senior year English teacher. Mrs. Wittkop wasn't just a teacher that told us to open up our books to page 27 and just teach from the textbook. She was a teacher in the fullest sense of the word because she was real, she was genuine, and she was honest. Mrs. Wittkop not only helped us succeed in the classroom but outside of the classroom as well. I'll argue until the end that THAT is more important than most things from a textbook.

Mrs. Wittkop had a knack for reaching students in different ways because let's face it, we're all different and we all learn in different ways. She had a way of cutting through and getting to know students as individuals and made learning fun. I vividly remember thinking while I was in her class every day that she treated us like adults. What I mean by that is we had our fun, but at the end of the day, we all knew we had work to do and if it didn't get done, we would be held accountable.

We had our fun and she let us be ourselves. In fact, she encouraged us to have fun, all while teaching English. But there was so much more to her class than just learning English and much of the "boringness" that usually came with English class.

I think it's safe to speak for my other classmates when I say this, but she made us WANT to do well and we never wanted to disappoint her because we loved and appreciated her so much. Still do to this very day.

She gave us lessons in English, but her lesson plans went beyond just the subject that she taught. Her lessons expanded on what we could expect outside of the classroom and she helped equip me with the tools I needed to succeed beyond high school and eventually in a career where I talk for a living.

To ME, that's what makes a memorable teacher and that's what I was fortunate enough to have with Vickie Wittkop from New Philadelphia High School back in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Thank you, Vickie, I love and appreciate you SO much!

AJ Battalio/TSM

Don't forget to vote for Townsquare Media's Teacher of the Year...

The winner takes home:

  • $100 food delivery voucher from Nosh NoCo 
  • 8 tickets to see The Eagles play October 22-23: use one four-pack for yourself and 'Pass the Puck' to another deserving teacher or administrator!
  • $500 to the winning teacher's school

2020-2021 TEACHER TUESDAY WINNERS

2019-20 Teacher Tuesday Monthly Winners