we asked our staff this week to write a thank you note to a teacher that made a life long impact on them. Today we had our senior intern, Chris Harris, share his thoughts.

Next to immediate family, I don’t think there’s anyone who has the opportunity to make a lasting impact on people’s lives as they grow up more than a teacher does. Truth be told, I resoundingly believe that teachers have the ability to transform lives even more than they think.

When I think of my past teachers, several enchanting, kind, and bright individuals come to mind. First and foremost, my high school broadcasting and newspaper teacher, Ms. Megan McLeod (now Mrs. Megan McLeod Jenks), is a past teacher who motivated me daily to improve my writing skills. In retrospect, that’s an aspect of my career that I take great pride in and like to think I’m fairly good at. Moreover, from day one, I witnessed that she had an authentic love for what she did and for her students. Whenever I think of my high school career, the amount of knowledge I attained from her in terms of writing, design principles, and editing, among others, is unprecedented. Lastly, the laughs, smiles, and memories we created during those years are something I’ll always be fond of.

Next, in terms of my undergraduate career at Ball State University, I have two professors who had a positive impact on me. Dr. David Pierce, who coordinated the undergraduate program at Ball State during my time there, influenced me significantly in terms of how I thought about the sports world as a whole. Dr. Pierce showcased to me that just because one wants to work in sports doesn’t mean that it will be easy. There’s going to be many long nights and long weekends, however, if you love what you’re doing you those elements won’t negate you. Furthermore, he had several “real world” features of his teaching that he brought to BSU, such as the Chase Charlie Races and making sales calls for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.

Lastly, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t recognize Mr. Joseph Chapman, who taught me personal selling the summer before my senior year. While it was a personal selling course, I believe what I learned most about from the class and Mr. Chapman is that, realistically, it’s not the product or service you’re selling, it’s yourself. Whatever it may be that you’re pursuing, if you take the principles of personal selling and apply it to that situation, more often than not, you will be successful. Mr. Chapman taught me about earning trust, building relationships, effective verbal communication, and much more. As a matter of fact, I still have the book from that course and enjoy reading it from time to time.

When you get the chance this week, thank a past or current teacher of yours who influenced you in a positive light. The teaching profession is full of several unselfish and generous people who might not even be aware of the impact they have made on your life. I’m honored that I had the opportunity to recognize mine.