I worked in the Elk River school district for over 20 years as a teacher at VandenBerge and at Elk River High School. I was surrounded by teachers and administrators who were dedicated, hard working, and professional. Day after day, the teachers crafted lessons that challenged and inspired their students. They cultivated an educational atmosphere where students were encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities, both academically and behaviorally.
I was ill for a year, and many of those teachers dropped off food and Christmas presents for my children. I was a part of a wonderful community of teachers. Many of these teachers are still employed by the school district today, and I am thankful for the difference these teachers are making in the lives of their colleagues and for their students. Teachers go into this career because they want to make a difference in students’ lives and because they care about the quality of education. I am proud to have been a part of Elk River’s community of teachers! — Vanessta Spark, Elk River (Editor’s note: Spark is the executive director of Spectrum High School.)