Nadja Young, SAS Institute 

When I think of inspiring teachers, I think of Scott Mack, my 11th grade World History teacher at Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia. Mr. Mack packed the World’s history and religion into one yearlong combo class with English, and somehow made it feel like a breeze. Despite the depth and breadth of curriculum to master, class never felt rushed or boring. 

Mr. Mack personalized instruction by playing off of each students’ individual learning styles and strengths. At that time, there was no technology in the classroom, so he utilized art, music, poetry, and pop culture to make the material relevant and stimulating. He gave students instant respect and made everyone feel like a treasured contributor to the class. 

Years after graduating Mr. Mack’s class, I became a high school teacher myself. I strived to recreate his unique class climate and foster the type of relationships with students to make them feel equally valuable.