Angela Risch was nominated by an anonymous student.
"Walking down the stairs and then turning a sharp right at Lake Country School, my feet were dragging, and my head was hanging down as I walked through the halls on the first day back after the best summer break ever. My heart was screaming, and my eyes were teary as I entered the classroom," said the student.
"School had become a chore for me, the kind of chore you want to put off until the last minute. My mental health was worsening, and my head was not in the right place. My one good friend tried to help me out and say, 'You'll get through this, I promise,' or 'Everything is going to be ok,' some of the same things that I hear from not only her but everyone else I tell my secrets to. I walk into my homeroom, and there she is, Mrs.Risch. She had the biggest smile as I approached her and asked where my seat was. 'Where do I sit,' I asked, 'Right over there, in the back row all the way to the left sugar cube,' she said. She called me a sugar cube, sweetie, and honey," said the student.
"The smallest things could always make the biggest impact. Mrs. Risch was my 4th-grade teacher. At this level, we didn't transfer from room to room, so I sat in Mrs. Risch's room for six hours daily. It was the best 6 hours of my life because she was sweet to all her kids. She was my teacher for everything and the best teacher ever," said the student.
"We had morning meetings where we would gather in the nicely made reading corner and play games to start our day. We would play this game where one kid would go out in the hall and change how they were wearing something, and the kids in the class would have to guess what they changed. I looked forward to that every day and wanted to be there. I wanted to be in school because of Mrs. Risch," said the student.
"I still remember the smell of her room; it was sweet and warm. It smelled like a fresh tray of cookies she had just taken out of the oven. I will forever remember the smell, smile, and kindness floating around that room all the time. She was the teacher that turned around my experience of going back to school after the summer break. After struggling for so long with mental health, it was so nice to see her smiling face every day. Her smile brightened my day, and her calm and meaningful tone gave me some satisfaction I didn't know I could feel. She made me feel at home, and I still love her for making my 4th-grade year so special," said the student.