In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which kicked off May 5th and goes through the 11th, our team of Z-Jays take time to remember and thank their favorite teachers! We're kind of in an unusual position here at Z107.3, because all of our on-air staff grew up here in Eastern Maine, and went to school locally. So Sarah, J-Stew and Cori wanted to take a moment to tip their hats to the men and women who helped encourage, inspire and shape who they have become today. Because let's face it, that's what teachers have the power to do!

Sarah from the Z Morning Show: 

"I love teachers! I've had so many great teachers having gone to school at S.A.D #22 - Winterport, Hamden, Newburgh. Some of my more memorable teachers were the loving and caring teachers at Leroy H. Smith elementary school in Winterport, the patient teachers at Wagner Middle School in Winterport and the mind expanding and straight-talking teachers at Hampden Academy. Pat Michaud, Heidi Corliss and Mr. Ross where super important to me as musical arts teachers. I also have fondness for Ms. Ward, a high school English teacher and have always appreciated every teacher I had going to the New England School of Communications. Honestly, some people don't have the title of "teacher" but have been a teacher to me in some way. Happy National Teacher's Appreciation Week to all those teaching, professionally and nonprofessionally!"

J-Stew from the Z Work Force:

"Good old Hampden Academy.... I'm sure quite a few teachers would like to deny I ever even existed, but the ones I did get along with, had a lasting impression on me. Obviously, Mr. Michaud, the band director. An extremely patient man who gave me a LOT of room to be myself, even if it was counter-intuitive to anything proper. I really like Ms. Ward too. She's one of the most no nonsense people I've ever met. Even to this day. And Mr Jackson was one of the coolest teachers I've ever had. A true free spirit, and always expressed the importance of learning. Not just the school work, but just learn. All the time. Most of the others are still in therapy from the havoc I caused from time to time. Oh, and a shout out to then-assistant principal, Mr. Grenier. I really made that poor guy earn his money. But he was always firm, but very fair."

Cori from the Afternoon Drive:

"I bounced all over as a kid, and wasn't an easy student to deal with, as I had a loud voice, strong opinions and a lot going on in my head. But I am so grateful that I had the wonderful teachers I did, at all levels of my education. And I am equally grateful to call many of those people my friends now. I love that we've stayed in touch! I started out at Lewis S. Libby in Milford. I still see my Kindergarten teacher, Val Kane, around town. And I love when I get to visit with my 3rd Grade teacher, Moe Rackliff.

Cori's 3rd Grade Teacher, Mr. Rackliff

My elementary school music teacher, Jan Smith, was the first person to get me singing. At Orono Middle School, patient teachers like Dan Chapman, Alma Otto, Mr. Dow, Mr. Gridley, Mrs. Batty, Mr. Gonyar helped me navigate through the super awkward Middle School Years. And at John Bapst Memorial, where I went to High School, I had so many teachers who went above and beyond, like Mary Sullivan, Mr. Schaab, Dr. Jones, Mr. Guimond, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Hews, Mrs. Jellison, Mrs. LeBlanc, and one of my all-time favs-turned-friends, Melissa Avery-Burns (who is still working there, inspiring kids with her amazing artistic talent and drive!) But the teacher who had the biggest impact on my life was my High School Chorus teacher, Neia Rhodes. That woman had a larger-than-life love of everything to do with the performing arts, especially music. The way in which she always looked to bring the best out of people, to gently push them beyond their comfort zone so they could unlock potential they didn't know they had--it was amazing to watch. She was the type of teacher who was amazing at her job, but humble as can be. She'd stay late, come in early, give you the shirt off her back, if she knew you needed it. She was always trying to solve everyone's problems, and always trying to make everyone feel like they had a friend. All of the lullabies I sing to my kids, Neia Rhodes taught me. To Neia and all my teachers, I will forever be grateful for the part you played (good or bad) in making me, me."

Cori's High School Music Teacher, Mrs. Rhodes, with Cori's daughter.

So, won't you take a moment and join us all in saying "Thank You" to all the amazing teachers out there?! Thank you, teachers, for your time, effort, attention--for the things you sacrifice personally to help us, and now our kids, to build a foundation of learning that we hopefully never stop building upon!