In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week.

In honor of teachers, I’d like to tell you about a few who had an impact on my life.

First, my mother, father, and my grandmother. Naturally your parents are your first teachers, but my grandmother Mildred was also an enormous influence on me. Mammaw was a high school English teacher, and she was a stickler for clear enunciation, good projection, and perfect grammar. My family got me off on the right foot. In fact they did such a good job that I started first grade directly without attending kindergarten.

In addition to my family, I’d like to mention these fine folks from Jackson (MS) Public Schools and the Rankin County School District:

Green Elementary
1st grade: Mrs. Bass, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Kitchens
2nd grade: Mrs. Farrier
3rd grade: Mrs. Belt, Mrs. Pete (Gifted)

Powell Elementary
4th grade: Mrs. Caldwell, Mrs. Brakefield, Mrs. Thompson (Gifted)

Brandon Middle School
5th grade: Mrs. Bogart, Mrs. McKinney, Mrs. Hales, Mrs. Crawford (Gifted)
6th grade: Mrs. King, Mrs. B. White, Mrs. C. Williams, Mrs. Crawford (Gifted)

Brandon Middle School – Junior High
7th grade:
1 Gifted: Mrs. Gill
2 Social Studies: Mr. Turner
3 Band: Mrs. Hagan
4 Science: Mrs. Ferriss
5 English: Mrs. Touchstone
6 Math: Mrs. Morgan
8th grade:
1 Math: Mrs. Fortenberry (now Thornton)
2 English: Mrs. Galloway
3 Band: Mrs. Hagan
4 Social Studies: Mr. Earl
5 Science: Mrs. Goodman
6 Gifted: Mrs. Gill
Brandon High School
9th Grade
1 Band: Mr. Hagan
2 Latin I: Mrs. Boyd
3 Algebra I: Mrs. Perry
4 MS History/Civics: Coach Sheppard
5 English: Mrs. Boyd
6 Biology: Coach Lowther
Summer: Driver’s Ed: Coach Thornton
10th Grade
1 Band: Mr. Hall/Ms. Crosby
2 Algebra II: Mrs. Nickles
3 Latin II: Mrs. Boyd
4 World History: Mrs. Hollis
5 English: Ms. Perritt
6 Chemistry: Mr. Jones
11th Grade
1 Band: Ms. Crosby
2 English: Mrs. Ratcliff
3 American History: Coach Cameron
4 Keyboarding: Mrs. Stanton / Computer Lit: Mrs. Tucker
5 Advanced Chemistry: Mr. Worley
6 Geometry: Mrs. Patrick
12th Grade
1 Band: Ms. Crosby
2 AP English: Mrs. McGuire
3 Advanced Math: Mrs. Britt
4 Physics: Mrs. Patrick
5 US Government: Mrs. Cutrer
6 Early Dismissal

Yes, it’s true. I remember every teacher and every class schedule I had from first grade through my senior year of high school. And for Nancy Patrick, Bobby Worley, June Hollis, Joyce McGuire, Toni Boyd, Gerry Britt and Tracy Crosby, please know this: I certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without your lasting influence and example.

I hope you take this post as an indication of my immense gratitude to you all!

(Are you interested in improving your own memory? Check out my Memory Mojo course!)

Joe M. Turner



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4 Responses

  1. I also had many of the same teachers & share you’re feelings of gratitude to each and every one of them!

  2. I had a “Mrs. Fortenberry” in the late 1970’s at BMS for math. She was tough–and I loved her for it. Surely this is not the same Mrs. Fortenberry? Is she a possible descendant?

  3. Necer had Mrs Hollis, but still loved her to death. Mr Worley was an amazing man. Mrs Tucker, Mrs Fortrnberry, Mrs Nickles and Mrs Britt were also amazing teachers. Amazing how long they taught and still teach. Special time at brandon schools with those gifted teachers.

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