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An Ode to Our Dear Teachers

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning” –Brad Henry. During my high school years at Hebrew Academy, I have had the privilege of meeting several exceptional teachers who have indeed inspired me, expanded my imagination, and taught me to love learning. For six great teachers–Mr. Morse, Rabbi Lefkowitz, Mr. Herzek, Ms. Lorenzo, Mr. Baurle, and Rabbi Shochet–this year will be their last at Hebrew Academy. Even though I was in Mr. Morse’s class for only two weeks, I still learned so much from him – as both my teacher and vice principal – and also so much about him. Besides recognizing him as a teaching legend, I have observed that Mr. Morse is an educator who truly dedicates himself to the students at RASG. Mr. Morse, I hope you enjoy retirement; you have earned it. Additionally, one of the kindest teachers I have ever had – and one of my best friends at the high school -Rabbi Lefkowitz, will be making Aliyah. Through his Jewish Law class, Rabbi Lefkowitz has taught me about both Judaism and greater life lessons. Although I am sad that I will no longer be greeted by a perpetually smiling Rabbi Lefkowitz, I know that his future Israeli students are gaining a phenomenal teacher. Even though Mr. Herzek has been at RASG for just two years, the lessons he has taught makes it seem like he has been here for a lifetime. Mr. Herzek is a teacher who truly cares about his students – he is understanding, caring, and uplifting in an oddly cynical yet optimistic way that his students cannot get enough of. While I, along with all his other students, will miss Mr. Herzek, his new New York students will be lucky to have “Wolves for [their] viewing pleasure.” Furthermore, I will sincerely miss Ms. Lorenzo, another caring two-year favorite teacher here. Although I have never formally had Ms. Lorenzo as a teacher, she has essentially been a second math teacher for me, and for others. Whenever students go to Ms. Lorenzo with math questions, she graciously answers and helps us, regardless of what class we are in. While I will miss the ever-so-kind and intelligent Ms. Lorenzo, the public school system will be gaining a true asset. Only here for a year, Mr. Baurle has become an integral part of the RASG family. As my teacher, I have witnessed how warm, empathetic, and jokey Mr. Baurle is. Even students outside his classroom have gotten to know Mr. Baurle: when a student roams the hall, he or she can be certain to hear Mr. Baurle kind-heartedly poking fun at the “troublemaker.” While I wish he could be a part of the high school faculty for longer, I am grateful for having had Mr. Baurle as my teacher for this past year, and I know he will make New York even better. Lastly, Rabbi Schochet, the high school’s Judaic principal, will be going on to fulfill his dream of being the head of a school. Although I have never attended one of his classes, I have gotten to know Rabbi Shochet through his morning smiles and enthusiastic greetings. In his year at the high school, Rabbi Schochet has truly instilled the importance of Judaic studies. To the teachers leaving: while I will sincerely miss you all, I know each and every one of you will go on to make your mark in the next chapter of your lives and in the lives of your students. Mr. Morse, Rabbi Lefkowitz, Mr. Herzek, Ms. Lorenzo, Mr. Baurle, and Rabbi Schochet, thank you all so much for making the school a brighter and better place.

By: Sara Fuchs

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