A note to Hoban’s unsung heroes


photo via Private School Review

It takes a special type of person to become an educator. However, not all go beyond the basic requirements to transcend the role of a teacher and make themselves trusted confidants or glowing mentors for their students. I have had quite a few unfortunate incidents with subpar educators, but I’ve also met so many that are genuinely kind and fully invested in the well-being of their students. Today, I’d like to describe some recent experiences that have reaffirmed my faith in the goodness of the Hoban community, specifically the faculty. 

I was walking in the hallway with a friend last week, discussing a rather unfortunate experience with a Hoban department in which a staff member had told me that they didn’t believe I was capable of taking a more advanced class. Mr. Kappel was walking in front of us, and upon hearing the conversation, turned around to check in. He didn’t know me personally, but noticed that I was upset and made an effort to comfort and validate me. He told me that my name meant “gift,” and to always remember that I myself am exactly that. 

The fact that a teacher who didn’t even know me had the immediate instinct to provide support and reinstill my confidence meant the world to me. 

While Mr. Kappel was speaking to me, Mrs. Mancine emerged from a nearby classroom and instantly began to provide words of encouragement as well. I’ve had Mrs. Mancine for two years now, and she is always incredibly attentive to her students’ emotional well-being, not just in specific circumstances. 

A few weeks ago, Mrs. Ball sat down with my English class and asked for our honest opinions on class structure and workload. She genuinely wanted to know how we were doing with her class and what we thought she needed to do to improve as a teacher, sharing her own struggles with the course during our discussion as well. I have never had a teacher foster such healthy dialogue between themself and their students. 

My class agreed that it is rare for teachers to be so open and honest with students and actively seek new ways to improve as an educator. That takes immense courage and dedication, building a deep sense of trust between teacher and student. It gives us as students a new level of respect for those teachers that go out of their way to make sure we feel respected by them as well.

I could continue on listing positive experiences with various teachers throughout my years at Hoban. There are a multitude of faculty members here that go above and beyond to educate the hearts and minds of their students, showing the utmost devotion to their job. 

To all the teachers quietly caring for their students through small acts of kindness: we notice and appreciate all that you do for us.