No matter how high you climb in life, you never forget your favorite teacher.
This week, President Obama awarded Shanna Peeples, a high school English teacher from Amarillo, Texas, the title of the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.
This week, the president wrote his own version:
"When I entered Ms. Hefty's fifth-grade class at Punahou School in the fall of 1971, I was just a kid with a funny name in a new school, feeling a little out of place, hoping to fit in like anyone else.
The first time she called on me, I wished she hadn't. In fact, I wished I were just about anywhere else but at that desk, in that room of children staring at me.
But over the course of that year, Ms. Hefty taught me that I had something to say — not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special.
And she reinforced that essential value of empathy that my mother and my grandparents had taught me. That is something that I carry with me every day as President."
Want more? Listen, watch and read a lot more about educators making a difference: