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By Trevor Browning
Special to The Trimble Banner
Growing up, I’ve always been heavily inspired by my teachers. In my experience as a student, there’s always been a teacher there to challenge me to do better, motivate me to aspire to higher goals, present me with the gift of higher knowledge, and truly awaken every ounce of creative and artistic expression that was previously unrealized.
Sonia Sanchez, the poet and activist, once brilliantly described the mindset of a student as “growing and learning something new every day. The more I learn, the clearer my view of the world becomes,” which perfectly summarizes the paramount impact my teachers have had on my life. It’s because of this that I have decided to take up the mantle this column, the “teacher spotlight”, to give some of the most influential figures in my life the recognition that they truly deserve and inform the community of their fluency in bringing out the best in the next generation; leaving nobody behind in the process.
The first teacher I wish to introduce to center stage is, of course, Mrs. Erin Liter. It’s not exactly fair to label her exclusively a teacher because she does so much more, with a scrupulous day-to-day schedule that includes teaching both college preparatory and honors English to the sophomore class, drama, the newly commissioned speech and debate course, and advanced placement English language.
Additionally, she has dedicated countless hours after school directing the local drama club and has delivered audiences with breathtaking performances of Pat Cook’s “We’ll Be Right Back after this Murder,” Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” and the upcoming “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Liter is a truly versatile force, committing thoroughly to every activity she involves herself with and reaches the entire student body in the process.
It’s my pleasure to say that I have had the opportunity to work with her the last few years in drama as well as the luck to be included in three of her classes this school year. It’s also fair to say that, without her teaching, I probably wouldn’t be writing for The Trimble Banner today or even have the gall to chase after the goals I have set for myself. In fact, I had the honor to sit in Mrs. Liter’s first 8th grade class at Trimble County, nearly five years ago, and I will forever be thankful for what she awakened in me: a realization of the importance of knowledge, creativity, and a hunger to strive to be the best I could possibly be.
Watching her teach is like watching a conductor instruct his symphony; with innovative teaching methods, her intelligence and inventiveness engages her students and strikes a chord with everyone in the room. Perhaps one of the greatest things about her is her ability to, not only reach her students academically, but also in their lives. Schoolwork aside, she also concerns herself with the outside atmosphere that her students exist in—whether that be their home lives, their health, the status of their day, or even just donating an ear for listening. Working over an hour away from her home has motivated her to provide great effort in every project she commits to as an extremely rigorous and caring teacher; someone who will challenge her students immensely, but also celebrate any good grade or success that they accomplish.
I’m proud to say that I’ve had her as a teacher, director, and friend; and I know that her advice, curriculum, and messages will last with me—as well as all of her students—for a lifetime.