An Influence to One is an Influence to All

Teachers are known to be some of the most influential people in our lives. Teachers can have a long-lasting impact on students’ lives and teach them lessons that will stick with them forever.


Kylie Pizza, MHS Media Editor

I am going to be graduating from high school on May 18, 2023, and I want to talk about three teachers who have impacted my life, especially in these last four years at Marist.

Mr. Sean Curtin’s faculty picture (Marist High School)

The first teacher I want to talk about and thank is Mr. Sean Curtin. He is a French teacher here at Marist.

When I first met Mr. Curtin, it was my first day as a freshman and he pretended to be from France. He pretended that he didn’t know English and asked us to guess where he was from.

After the whole class guessed, he then broke character and said, “I’m from Evergreen Park”.  This showed me that he was different from the past teachers I had in grammar school. He was funny and knew how to connect with students.

When I first started his class, I was nervous because I was going to be learning a new language and have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), so I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to understand or stay caught up.

Mr. Curtin was understanding and helpful whenever I felt lost in class, overwhelmed, or even if I felt like I was falling a little behind. He creates connections with his students and knows how to make them feel comfortable, especially in a new or different environment than what they’re used to.

Mr. Curtin taught me that just because I learned differently than others, I was still just as smart. He helped me to become comfortable in my own skin as well as here at Marist.

I will never forget the time he took out of his day to truly get to know his students, to help them, to understand them and how they learn. I will never forget the kindness and care he put into every class. Lastly, I will never forget the amount of effort he poured into each lesson plan even when he was stressed beyond his limits.

He truly inspired me and made a long-lasting impact on my life. So, thank you Mr. Curtin for teaching me how to be comfortable in my own skin and at a new school.

Picture of Mr. Alex Karr’s faculty picture (Marist High School)

The second teacher I would like to talk about and thank is Mr. Alex Karr, an English teacher and tennis coach here at Marist. Mr. Karr was my freshman year English teacher, and he taught me quite a few things.

I hated my last name when I was a freshman because everyone had a joke to say about it and random people constantly yelled it in the hallways at school. I hated it. Until Mr. Karr told me that I shouldn’t want to change my last name just because of other people. He said it was a good last name, although he wouldn’t want it personally.

Mr. Karr is a teacher who cares about and respects his students. He always asks his students how their weekends were or what they were planning to do that weekend. He makes sure to ask everyone how they’re doing, and he notices when kids are a bit off or out of character. He knows how to take and make jokes which makes his classroom an overall comfortable learning environment.  He has a genuine and sincere heart when it comes to his students.

Another example is from my freshman year, I ended up crying in class over a boy and he stopped our class for about 10 minutes just to talk to me and calm me down. He genuinely cared about why I was upset, and he truly wanted to help.

So, thank you Mr. Karr for teaching me that teachers can be genuinely caring.

Picture of Mr. Alex Karr’s faculty picture (Marist High School)

Lastly, I would like to talk about and thank Mr. Victor Trevino, a math teacher here at Marist. Mr. Trevino was my sophomore year math teacher; however, I was in his Marcellin Algebra 1 class.

I was incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassed about being in a freshman math class as a sophomore. Mr. Trevino helped me to feel less uncomfortable and less embarrassed by not singling me out, talking to me directly and personally to see if I understood what we were learning, and he was always willing to help me out if I needed it.

Before Mr. Trevino’s class, I never understood math, especially algebra. Thanks to him and his teaching methods, I have now had straight A’s in math for the last 3 years. He taught me that I wasn’t dumb, I had just been taught poorly before. I needed the extra explanations, and he gave them to me.

If it wasn’t for Mr. Trevino, I’m not quite sure if I would’ve ever received an A in any math class after.

So, thank you Mr. Trevino for giving me the extra help that I needed, not singling me out because I was older than everyone else, and teaching me methods of math that have stuck with me and will probably stick with me for years to come.

All in all, many teachers at Marist have taught me a lot, but Mr. Curtin, Mr. Karr, and Mr. Trevino have been the three to stand out the most to me. They have influenced me and others before me.

As my final days as a senior at Marist approach, I wanted to give my genuine and sincere thanks to the three most influential teachers I’ve ever had.