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She took a chance on me

• ExcelinEd


In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week we asked a few staff members to contribute to our #OnTheFly blog series about a specific teacher who inspired them and made a difference in their lives. Finishing our series is Marilyn Dwyer, intern extraordinaire for the policy shop here at the Foundation. A special post, indeed, as she writes about a staff member at the Foundation who was her inspiration.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and I’m honored to have the opportunity to say thank you to a special teacher of mine via The EdFlyBlog. My junior year of high school, a teacher came into my life who stands above the rest. She challenged me to think outside the box and to appreciate my creativity in our journalism class. She forced me to push my limits and write till my fingers bled in history. There is no way I would have been prepared to enter a college classroom if she hadn’t made me want to try. When I graduated from high school, she took a chance on me and offered me a job here as an intern at the Foundation where I have learned so much more than I ever expected in my time here.

So, Mary Laura Bragg, thank you. Thank you for being more amazing than I could have ever expected from a teacher at a small Catholic high school in Tallahassee. Thank you for instilling a love of history so much so I wanted to make it my major in college. Thank you for helping me realize my own ability and to remind me that I am smart and I have strengths others do not. And most importantly, thank you for being a great friend to me.

In addition, I asked two other classmates who also had her as a teacher if they had one thing to say about her, what it would be:

“I didn’t see history as anything other than a list of boring facts, but after her I realized history wasn’t about arbitrary information, but facts that were and are completely applicable to my life.”

“I can’t just say one thing… one thing could not do her justice

Thank you, Mary Laura Bragg.


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