4 People In My Teaching Hall of Fame

I recently won Teacher of the Year at my school.  This post is the first in a series of essays I'm writing for the state candidate application form. 
Describe some of the people who influenced you to become a teacher:
I had a few inspirational teachers in my life as I was growing up.  Mrs. Miles was my fifth grade teacher.  She was full of charm and manners- a true southern lady.  I still remember her joy and enthusiasm.  We had an entire social ecosystem that year, complete with jobs, currency,  a court of law.  She taught me about true classroom community.

Ms. Simmons was my reading teacher in eighth grade.  She had so much passion about the books and stories she shared with us.  I discovered Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare in her classroom.  She taught me that teaching from your heart is a powerful experience.
As a high school junior, I found myself in Mrs. Kirk's English class.  She was eccentric, kooky, and old enough to be my grandmother.  The only book I read in high school was The Catcher in the Rye.  I read it in four days because of her.  Her ever present encouragement and support were not put off by my slacker ways.  She taught me to never completely give up on a student.
Mrs. Yackel was one of my favorite people in college.  She was my cooperating teacher during the second half of my student teaching.  Her kindergarten class was amazing.  She was always bringing in something new to show her students.  Her different reading voices captivated the class.  Every day was packed with movement and excitement.  She taught me that teaching could truly be a fun and lively adventure each day.

Who is in your teaching hall of fame?
Photo Credit: Coba