High school seniors pay tribute to their teachers

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

There were a lot of sniffles and tears at the inaugural Senior of the Month banquet, which took place on Wednesday in the Smithfield Center. But those were tears of gratitude as 19 students from Windsor and Smithfield high schools spoke about how much their favorite teachers have meant to them.

Ceara Gibson

Ceara Gibson

The program was inspired by similar ones that Isle of Wight Schools Superintendent Dr. James Thornton had seen done in previous districts during his career.

He recalled one of his own high school teachers who made a lasting impacting on his life.

“I wish I had the opportunity to honor in such a personal way,” Thornton said. “I stand in awe of you teachers.”

Among the many students’ tributes, two from Windsor High are particularly worth noting.

Ceara “CeCe” Gibson said English teacher Lohrer Mise has been “one of the most loving and caring people,” adding that she’s become a second mother to her. Through the instructor’s encouragement, Gibson said she now feels capable of doing much with her life.

Dustyn Bain said of theater arts instructor Virginia Beatty Riffle that she, like all the honorees, “are great teachers who educate. You not only teach us the required curriculum, but you also teach us life skills. You all are in a constant state of instruction, taking advantage of impromptu opportunities that may captivate and inspire any particular student.”

Further, “…while you didn’t mold me yourself, [you] have given given me the tools necessary to sculpt myself, and not many teachers allow their students the challenge of shaping themselves…But, Mrs. Beatty, while I will never forget how you’ve made me feel, I will always remember how you helped mold me into the man I am today, and the man I am to become.”