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Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teachers are important to us here at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. Not only was our founder and president, Sue Ann Thompson, a teacher for 30 years, but we all understand that we are where we are today because of wonderful teachers. We thought the best way to express our appreciation on National Teacher’s Day is too share some of WWHF’s most impactful teachers.

My 3rd grade teacher influenced me so very much.  Third grade was a rough place for a chubby 9 year old, and ever so subtly my teacher, Mrs. M, taught me about self-confidence and beauty that goes beyond the skin.  Mrs. M also showed me that nothing is impossible and that comparing myself to others would get me nowhere.  There are lessons that she taught me that I will pass onto my children- the world is a better place because of teachers like Mrs. M.

Moranda Medina Lopez – Health Educator


I’ve had the blessing of living with a teacher for the first 18 years of my life, and subsequently talking to one every day.  Having your mother as a teacher isn’t always fun growing up – they know when you’re faking sick and they don’t believe you when you tell them, “I don’t have homework tonight.”  But, my mom, a 7th Grade biology teacher, was able to truly express to me the importance of education, teacher appreciation, and learning outside the classroom.  When some class seemed unimportant, my mom was always able to explain to me how it WAS relevant to my life.  Never did a holiday go by when my teachers didn’t receive some small ornament and “Thank You” card.  It’s because of her that all my college professors received a thank you at the end of the semester.  She taught me the value of hard work and education and I can’t thank her enough for that.  On top of all that she did for her children’s teachers, my mom never expects a thank you from any of her own students.  But she remembers when they take the time to say it.

McKaye Whiteside – PR & Events Coordinator


My most impactful teacher was Adam Himlie, my high school English teacher. I had him for ninth grade English as well as Humanities (Philosophy) my junior year. He was an outstanding teacher because he was constantly looking for innovative ways to make the subject matter more accessible.

In 9th grade, we were doing a Shakespeare unit and he had us break up into groups, act out and record scenes from Romeo and Juliet. The scenes were all put together so each class got to watch a home-made movie of the play. This made the content much more accessible and amusing, two important factors when you’re trying to reach 9th graders with Shakespeare.

In Humanities, one of our big group projects was to create a miniature ancient civilization in a cardboard box, and then destroy and bury it (in sand). We would trade boxes with another group and then have to act as archeologists, uncovering the remains of this unknown civilization and developing theories as to what was important to them, and how they were destroyed. It was a great experience to demonstrate what we value in society, as well as what kind of message we’re going to leave behind.

Carl K. Oliver, CHES – First Breath and My Baby & Me Program Coordinator


Dr. Keely S. Rees, Director of the Undergraduate Community Health Education Program and Assistant Professor, taught my first Intro to Community Health Education course and her spirit and energy had me hooked! Our shared passion for women’s health created a strong connection and she soon became an important mentor in my life. Outside of regular coursework, Keely and I had a lot of interaction with one another: she was a leader of the Eta Sigma Gamma Health Education Honor Society where I was involved as a committee member; I was a Teacher’s Assistant for her Women’s Health course; she was an instructor on my Study Abroad trip in Galway, Ireland; and I also babysit her children from time to time. We still keep in touch today, and most recently I was able to attend a seminar she put on called, “Body Speaks” at the University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse. Her continued enthusiasm for the field of women’s health inspires me to this day. A former classmate of mine recently said, “You know, you’re really starting to remind me of Keely!” I couldn’t imagine a better compliment.

Chelsea Stover, CHES – First Breath and My Baby & Me Program Coordinator

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