Every year the Chattanooga Rotary Club holds a luncheon to honor Hamilton County’s most influential teachers. Five teachers from five different high schools in the county are honored at this event each year. This year, for the second time in a row, the seniors voted Mr. Ford as the most influential teacher at EHS.
Every teacher that wins this award and attends this luncheon, is introduced by a student of their choosing. This year Mr. Ford chose, theatre club member and Mrs. EHS candidate, Pressley Wilson. Pressley is new to the East Hamilton Theatre Company this year but that doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Ford has been a BIG influence to her. Pressley tells us, “He has made me go outside of my comfort zone by encouraging me to be more creative and get involved” as he has done for many other students as well and any one would know that just by watching him teach and interact with students.
The students are not the only ones that are fond of Mr. Ford; our administrators are also fans of his. Mrs. Chuy has known he was a good teacher for quite some time now and knew that the students would think so to as she was the one that gave him the job as theatre teacher after Mr. Veenstra. When Mrs. Chuy started to talk about examples of how Mr. Ford inspires his students, she mentioned something Pressley said in her speech introducing him at the event. Mrs. Chuy said that Pressley talked about her audition for the school play and that Pressley believed that she did not do well and Mr. Ford would not accept that she thought that and told her she did amazing. Mr. Ford is all for inclusiveness and he always encourages kids even if they’re shy he pushes them to go a little out of their comfort zone and accomplish things that they didn’t know they could.
Even though Mr. Ford has won this award twice in a row, he is still very honored by it. Mr. Ford loves that this award is given by the students it makes it mean that much more to him because it’s the people that are in his class and that he interacts with on a daily basis that gave him this award. The award is voted on by the seniors every year and this year’s seniors and which makes it even more special this year because it is Mr. Ford’s fourth year teaching the high school as it is the seniors fourth year in high school. The students are obviously affected by Mr. Ford but the students also affect Mr. Ford. One of Mr. Ford’s biggest goals as a teacher is to not teach students to think like him but, to think for themselves and voice their opinions and when they do it is always something interesting and new that he has never heard before. The students are not the only ones that learn everyday, Mr. Ford believes that teachers are life-long learners and his students teach him just as much as he teaches them. He learns something new from them everyday and states that, “A lot of times it is insightful, thoughtful, occasionally profound, and always welcome.” Mr. Ford, while he is honored by this award, believes that it is also unfair because he teaches subjects that students want to take they don’t have to. Mr. Ford’s opinion on what a really, truly inspirational teacher is would be one who can get a student to learn a subject that they hate and may not be the best at. He gives an example saying, “If a math teacher can teach you math even though you can’t stand math and you hate it and loath it and you go in there and at the end of the year you learned something; to me that teacher is very influential.”
Mr. Ford is a very valued member of this school and a very humble person who cares about his students and is very deserving of this award. Even though he might not admit it, he does a lot for his students and for the theatre program and will continue to do so.
Welcome to the Arts section of the East Hamilton newspaper. Here you will find articles on Theater, visual arts, music, and more.