Students share thoughts on GHS teacher
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 7, 2011 1:46 PM
The Wayne County Board of Education got, and gave, a lesson on the value of a caring teacher Monday night.
It started out as a presentation by Janet Krueger, allied health teacher in Goldsboro High School's health academy, who shared the progress made since the program was approved by the board two years ago to prepare students for the health care profession.
The academy was "necessary," she said, as she proudly introduced a few members from her first class of graduates from the program. She said they had successfully competed in regional and state competitions as well as participating in community service and HOSA, Health Occupations Students of America.
Called upon to share what the program had meant to them, one by one they paid tribute to their teacher.
Tiffany Bowden, president of HOSA this past year, directed efforts for nine blood drives, helped bring a HOSA chapter to Dillard Middle School and won a leadership award. In the fall, she plans to attend Fayetteville State University and study nursing.
"Being a part of HOSA, I have learned tons about responsibility, to work with different personalities and just because I was the president didn't mean I had to dominate the field," she said, adding that she was also honored to be called "Little Miss Krueger" by some of her classmates.
All of the experiences she had were great, she said, the emotions starting to well up as she collected her thoughts.
"I have never been looked at as the most outstanding student. In Ms. Krueger's eyes, I was recognized in her eyes," she said, a catch in her voice as she wiped away the tears. "Once I came to Goldsboro High School, I met someone like Ms. Krueger who made me feel like I was important. Being a leader now is more important to me. I never knew people would look up to me."
Devin Crim admitted when he first enrolled in the academy, he didn't have an interest in the medical field as a career.
"It was just kind of a hobby to me," he told the board, explaining that his bigger aspirations were to go into politics.
"I benefited from it because I got to interact with other people. It's helped me see that people are more similar to me than different."
Ms. Krueger entered him in a public speaking contest, a surprise to the self-described "shy person" as he won third place.
"Ms. Krueger has been one of the best teachers that I have had throughout my education," he said. "I honestly do believe that she's one of the best teachers that you can possibly have."
Lutfiyya Portier shared that HOSA had "changed my life" and helped her out educationally. She credited her teacher with providing encouragement to go beyond just helping people.
"I was never like a big confidence girl," she said. "HOSA's really helped boost my confidence. I have noticed that I have grown more."
Darius Campbell asked if he could join his classmates in speaking.
Initially introduced as "my first graduate from the health sciences academy," Ms. Krueger shared that he plans to attend Greensboro College and study physical therapy.
Recalling how he started out in Ms. Krueger's biomedical class, Darius said at the time he was uncertain about returning to Goldsboro after having attended another high school.
"I learned a lot. She helped me to grow," he said. "I just enjoyed being in Ms. Krueger's classroom. She's the best lady in the world. Ms. Krueger's been there so much for me when I was going through a lot these last two years."
Then, like his classmates, emotions overtook him.
Voice cracking, Darius said, "She was the main person there when no one else cared about me. I'm proud to even be a part, I'm proud of graduating from the academy. ... Words can't express how much she means to me and how much this HOSA means to me."
The student testimonials also made an impression on the school board.
Board Chairman Thelma Smith called Ms. Krueger "the kind of teacher that all these children need," drawing applause from the audience.
"Having been a teacher, and many of us have, we know how important caring for children is," she said. "That group of kids you saw here tonight probably experienced the only love that they have had in certain circumstances. Every teacher, when they go into the classroom, they take the attitude that, 'I'm going to teach that whole child, whatever it takes,' you'll be surprised at the response you'll get."
Children, she added, can sense when teachers don't want to teach them. And as such, those who are in the classroom for any other reason don't belong there.
"If you haven't made a difference, you need to leave," she said. "Children haven't changed from the time when I started teaching in 1956. They may have different circumstances but you can rise above those circumstances if you get to know them."