The East Vision celebrates the staff at EGRHS during Teacher Appreciation Week

Sophia Bouwkamp, Staff Writer

Two weeks ago, students, parents, and other grateful community members celebrated educators around the country during the annual Teacher Appreciation Week. The student’s at East Grand Rapids High School look forward to showing their appreciation for all their teachers. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put into effect a nationwide quarantine meaning that normal in-person traditions were not able to take place this year. Nonetheless, students still wanted to honor their teachers because of the bottomless amount of work they put in to providing a quality education. Due to the uncertain times, teachers are working tirelessly to provide remote learning, giving parents a glimpse into the hard work teachers put in for their students. The East Vision asked multiple high school students what they had to say about some of their favorite teachers:


“Anytime anyone is feeling low Dr. Borst’s dance Fridays will turn anyone’s frown upside down.” – Anna Edleman ‘22

“I have had so many amazing teachers at the high school and at East. I’ve had Mr Farmer and Dr. Borst since freshman year. They always make their classes interesting, and I can’t wait to be in their classes again for senior year!” -Caroline Grin ‘21

“Mrs. Murphy is the best!! She really cares about all of her students as a whole person and works really hard to make sure we succeed in math.” -Tali Deaner ‘21

“Ms. Clary has always supported me since the day I got to East, and she would always say hello and goodbye when she saw me in the hallways. She is such an amazing teacher and I’m glad I got to be with her for at least 6 months.” -Maria López-Linares 

“I appreciate all that Mr. Castillo has done to revive the band program and bring us closer together. We were always able to accomplish things on time, but it was always fun.” -Keely Tyrer ‘22

“Mrs. Sparks has been such a great yearbook teacher! She has always made class so entertaining and fun.” -Kamryn Kerr ‘21

“Mrs. Sparks is really nice and she is a great teacher. I love going to her class!” -Skylar Bouwkamp ‘23

“Mr. Szpieg always comes into school so early in the morning to make sure everything gets done behind the scenes. He is always willing to talk to his students and make sure they are able to succeed and create a project they are proud of!” -Carly Krupp ‘20

“Mr. Faber is that smiling face you always see in the hallway. He has been my math teacher for 2 years and I’m sad I can’t hear him say happy little Friday one more time in person until the next school year.” -Betsy Beusse ‘22 

“Mrs. Elderkin is an incredibly kind, organized, and helpful teacher. Especially with online learning, she has made it very easy for us to keep learning normally and she is always there to help her students with anything. Not to mention she’s constantly motivating her students with her trademark ‘Go team!’” -Natalie Dwortz ‘21

“Throughout my years thus far at East, I have had some of the most incredible teachers. Some of my favorites, Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. Elderkin I have had for two years! Overall I am so thankful for all the passion that the staff brings to East Grand Rapids High School and their effort is very appreciated.”  -Patrick Periard ‘21

“Señora Harmon is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She’s always looking out for her students and ways to make learning Spanish more fun. I’m so glad I was able to have her not only in high school but in elementary school, because she has always been the same genuine person I knew in elementary school!” -Abby Bell ‘20

“Mr Horos has always been a really supportive and helpful teacher especially with weeple and all he does with that program. He’s always super positive and brings great energy to the classroom.” -Hallea Michell ‘22

“Mr Arthur always offers help to us and is always available if we need anything. He’s gone over content after school with me multiple times and it’s really helped me to succeed in the class. He also seems to genuinely care that we are doing well in the classroom.” -Ben Schneider ‘21

“My mom (Mrs. Waschbusch) is the best.” -Max West ‘20

“Mrs. Hazle is always super positive and is always there whenever anyone needs her. She makes class really engaging and I really enjoyed having her as a teacher this year!” -Maggie Bruemmer ‘21 

“Mrs. Michell is one of the nicest teachers I ever had, not only does she care about learning but she cares about each person. She is always there when you need her help with anything.” -Claire Witting ‘21

“Mrs. Michell is straight up one of the best and kindest teachers out there, whether she’s telling your class to stop clapping at everything she says or comforting you with a hug.” -Victor Schmitt ‘21 

“I had 6th hour with Mr. Sirois for 2 years in a row. I would look forward to going back to school after lunch because of his class, and his humor is unmatched.” -Nate Milanowski ‘21 

“I appreciate how hardworking Mr. Sirois is, as well as all of the jokes that he makes. I especially appreciate his ‘don’t yuck my yummy’ saying and I’ll always remember that nothing good happens after midnight.” -Luke Frazier ‘20

“Mr. VandenBrink is wildly loved throughout our school; his bright and charismatic personality shines through each lesson. He truly loves what he does and it shows I always look forward to being in his class!” -Rahshona Saydazamova ‘22 

“I love the energy Mr. Vandenbrink brings every morning even when I sometimes don’t feel like learning.” -Mason Bailey ‘21 

“I am so happy I was able to have Mrs. Weigel as a teacher this year. Her bubbly and humorous personality makes everyone feel welcome in her classroom. I know I, along with many other students, can say that I feel much closer to Mrs. Weigel because of the way she interacts with us.” -Lucy Pietryga ‘20 

“Mr. Stabile and Mrs. Michell have taught me not to take literature for granted and have brought me to value all kinds of classical literary works.” -Max Bruce ‘22 

“Mr. Dykstra has taught me so much about math, but also about volleyball and life in general. I never thought I would be able to actually like math as much as I do thanks to him.” -Makeda Sanders ‘23

“Mr. Dykstra really made me love math. He guided the class through every step patiently and with enthusiasm, making it fun to be a part of!” -Hania Timek ’23

“Mrs. Baranoski has always been around to help with anything you may need. She has helped me multiple times with my essays after school and always is understanding if you are struggling. She is always ready to engage in class and always trying to win you over with a laugh.” -KK Milanowski ‘23

“Mrs. Reitkirk is really helpful by being specific. She’s a really nice teacher with a fun personality.” -Bryn Groenink ‘20

“Mrs. Miller has always prioritized her students and is amazing at making sure everyone understands the material.” -Halley Elliott ‘20

“Mrs. Miller is one of those teachers who you can talk with about questions related to the subject of her class or just life in general. She is one of the most genuine and fun teachers I have ever had who is always looking to help her students succeed!” -Lily Pietryga ‘20

“Ms. Mapes is an amazing teacher and she has really made me a better student this year. She is always willing to help and talk through any issues with assignments. I admire how she will go above and beyond to help any student who is willing to put the work in. I’m so grateful to have had her.” -Olivia Williams ‘22

“Mr. Webb plays such a major role for the IB cohort: he’s a teacher, he organizes everything for IB, and he is always there to support us! I am very grateful that he is the IB coordinator! Thank you Mr. Webb!” -Elsa Hossain ‘21