Teacher Appreciation Week


Keira Dooley, Editor-In-Chief

From May 1st to May 5th, Peninsula High School celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week! The best way to let someone know you appreciate them is to simply tell them by saying thank you. To celebrate and thank the incredible teachers here at PHS, I have reached out to Peninsula students and asked them to share who some of their favorite teachers have been and why they appreciate them:

Ms. Bashaw
“I really appreciate Ms. Bashaw. She seems and acts as though she genuinely really wants to see her students succeed, and she’s more than generous and caring.” – Ben Roberts (10)

Mrs. Beloate
“She is so passionate, and it shines through in her teaching. She makes me love learning about literature and tying them to modern-day topics.” – Avery de Maine (12)
“She always has her best interests in students, and wants everyone to succeed.” – Brooke Zimmerman (12)
“She just cares so much about all of us, and she is absolutely amazing!” – Rianne Dooley (12)
“She’s understanding, and she seems to always find a way to provide comfort, whether she meant to do it on purpose or not. Her presence is just warm and calming in general so I really enjoy talking to her outside of class. And I feel like she’s quite different when you talk to her outside of class. I feel more connected with her personally when we talk.” – Veronica Wu (12)
“Mrs. Beloate is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever had. She pushes her students to work hard and reach their full potential and she wants the best for them. She has so much energy and enthusiasm every day. Even the work can be tedious at times, her classroom is a fun place to be.” – Keira Dooley (12)
“I appreciate how well she teaches.” – Mabelle Mortenson (12)

Mr. Bill
“He’s so energetic and does very well keeping the class engaged. I have never heard a negative thing about him. He provides the proper tools needed to learn, and when someone needs extra help, he’s always more than willing to aid them. Thank you!” – Audrey Derr (9)
“Mr. Bill is one of my favorite teachers here at PHS. He really cares about his students and helps them to learn as much as they can. He pushes them to be more aware of what is going on in the world around them and look through different perspectives. His class is always entertaining with the stories he shares and they usually helped me to remember the content we were learning. He’s a really great teacher and I’m glad I got to have him.” – Keira Dooley (12)
“Mr. Bill always makes class engaging and I can tell he is interested in the subject, hearing how much passion he has for history makes me excited to learn about it. Thank you :)” – Mira Sonnen (10)

Mrs. Bowlan
“I love how open-minded and supportive she is. She engages with her students and their thinking in philosophy and proposes good philosophical questions that make us think more about our thinking.” – Asher Roberts (12)

Mrs. Bruess
“Her kindness.” – Kallee Wagee (11)
“Mrs. Bruess has really fun vibes and a very cozy classroom.” – Gwendolyn Bean (11)
“Thank you for not only being such an amazing teacher but for being an amazing person. You always know how to put a smile on anyone’s face.” – Leila Van Komen (9)

Mrs. Bruey
“She takes the time to help you with anything you need help with, and she gives you time to work on your assignments.” – Cali Dooley (9)
“[I appreciate] Mrs. Bruey for always caring about her students and trying her hardest when students are hard to work with.” – Jeannie (9)

Mrs. Buchanan
“She is a nice teacher who is understanding and caring and puts in the time and effort to really help you learn.” – Anonymous

Mr. Bullock
“Even though he’s all over the auditorium making and changing his decisions about Puffs and now Willy Wonka, he’ll always be calm and tranquil no matter how “all over the place.” He’ll always make drama a fun experience where no one is ever hated and always welcome.” – Charles Batcheller (11)
“He makes drama/theater a really fun experience.” – Ava Miekle (9)
“He’s like a dad.” – Alex Sprague (10)
“He is always there for his students and provides a safe space for any kid who needs one. Theater had quickly become a second home to me and it’s all because of him.” – Izzy Morin (10)
“For inspiring me to keep people performing even when my mind is tired.” – Z (12)
“He’s like an additional father figure.” – Alex (10)
“I appreciate how he’s always in a good mood.” – Zachary Ruckle (9)
“I appreciate that they [Mr. Stahl and Mr. Bullock] are both stern and strict, but really kind and friendly. When you mess up, they give you second chances. They try to make connections with students and genuinely care about what they do, which is always important. They love teaching what they teach, and everyone is better off for it. They’re also really funny.” – Henry Glore (9)
“You make theater a safe and comforting space with all of my favorite people.” – Scarlett Craggs (9)
“He has helped me grow and find my potential in the theater program. If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with my life, but my involvement in the theater with his guidance has helped me grow and become a better actress.” – Emily Williams (12)

Mrs. Cardinal
“I appreciate how encouraging she is and how she lets us play dodgeball.” – Anonymous
“She is a teacher that you can joke around with and have fun. She makes sure that we are doing activities that push us to be better, she seems to actually care. If you want to talk she’ll listen and understand without just brushing you off.” – Bailyn Duchesneau (11)

Mr. Chai
“Thank you for making an inclusive and positive environment for your students. We appreciate you!” – Anonymous

Mrs. Christensen
“Thank you for all you do for your students. You are such a light at PHS!” – Anonymous

Mrs. Crabtree
“She’s always there when you are in need of a snack or just a break from the craziness. She’ll ask you questions and seems to actually want to listen, even after you don’t have her as a teacher anymore.” – Bailyn Duchesneau (11)
“For always letting us eat lunch in her classroom and being so kind.” – Anonymous
“She’s the best!” – Claire Lerch (11)
“She is very understanding and willing to work things out with you individually to help you succeed in her class. She holds her students accountable and pushes them to give their best effort. She really cares about her students’ well-being and hears their opinions on different topics, which is really cool to see. She pushes students to advocate for themselves and also informs them of what is happening in the school, especially for the seniors.” – Keira Dooley (12)

Mr. Crema
“I like how he is super nice and down to earth.” – Anonymous
“He is very nice, he always says hello to me and other students and asks how everyone is.” – Anonymous

Mr. Cruz
“He has really interesting life stories and gives good practical advice.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Demianiw
“She does so much for our school by coaching soccer, being a math teacher, asb advisor, and running leadership. She’s amazing and our school could not run without her!” – Avery de Maine (12)
“[For] how sincerely she cares for her students and their well-being.” – Mackenzie Dahl (12)
“Mrs. Demainaiw is a great teacher, she puts in so many hours to help all the different Leadership activities go smoothly. PHS would not be the same without her and we’re so lucky to have her as a Leadership teacher!” – Anonymous
“She cares so much about not only her students but the entire student body and staff. She puts her all in everything she does for Peninsula, and he heart is truly in it.” – Brooke Zimmerman (12)
“Mrs. Demianiw is an incredibly hard-working teacher. People don’t really understand just how much work goes into organizing all the events and fundraisers ran by leadership. She does so much for this school and the students in it.” – Keira Dooley (12)

Mrs. East
“Thank you for going above and beyond for ALL students. We appreciate you.” – Anonymous

Mr. Epstein
“For wanting me to be successful in math and striving to work with me on so.” – Jeannie (9)
“His class is very relaxed. Everyone gets to work at their own pace, and he’s always willing to explain something you don’t understand. Before having you work on a new idea or concept, he shows the whole class how to do it step by step and allows students who may already understand that concept to work ahead. He is a great teacher for students who move at different paces.” – Keira Dooley (12)

Ms. Gere
“She makes math fun and easy to understand” – Anonymous
“She’s super kind and accepting towards everyone!” – Sky Olli (12)
“I appreciate that Gere cares about all of her students in all aspects. She loves and respects everybody for who they are. She shows support in different ways. She has your back if you need assistance academically, and she is also somebody you can approach if you need someone to talk to. Overall, she’s an amazing human, and it makes her a great teacher!” – Kitana King (10)
“I appreciate Ms. Gere for ensuring her students are cared for and secure.” – Lotus Hilsenroth (11)
“She’s always there for me. She is always my number one supporter and a second mom to me, and I love her a lot, and she always helps me when I need it.” – Hallee Graf (12)
“[Ms.Gere is] Incredibly patient and understanding toward me. Their way of teaching is easy to follow, and their ways of adapting to teaching still amaze me, especially because of how many students they have each year.” – Anonymous
“She’s very helpful and forgiving.” – Megan Silver (12)
“She’s nice.” – Mabelle Mortenson (12)

Mr. Gillis
“I appreciate his thoughtfulness to explain the subject in different ways and their step-by-step process.” – Anonymous
“I appreciate the time he takes outside of class to help students understand concepts they may be struggling with. Mr. Gillis is a really great one-on-one teacher and never makes anyone feel like they aren’t smart for not understanding things right away.” – Keira Dooley (12)
“I really appreciate Mr. Gillis for always telling me when I’m on the right track and helping me understand things I struggle with.” – Teagan McMonagle (11)

Madame Gray
“I love Madame Gray’s creativity and sense of humor. She was such an awesome teacher and made learning French really fun!” – Amber Dalby (12)
“Thank you so much for always being so kind to me with everything I have gone through medically and helping me stay up to date with my grades. You’re the best.” – Leila Van Komen (9)

Mr. Griffin
“I appreciate his patience and how much he teaches us about important life skills in CCFE. He’s a great teacher and is very helpful.” – Wyatt McCurry (12)
“He has a good sense of humor and is a pretty fun teacher.” – Amber Dalby (12)
“He’s very funny.” – Megan Silver (12)

Mrs. Gutmann
“I appreciate that she is a very kind and understanding teacher who will sit down with you and go over everything until you fully understand and when you’re stressed out she helps to calm you down and make you feel confident in your learning.” – Anonymous
“Gutmann is really good at building strong relationships with students and making a comfortable space for us to destress in.” – Anonymous

Mr. Hall
“He is really nice and funny.” – Cali Dooley (9)
“Though I haven’t been in one of his classes, he seems like a really funny teacher, and I appreciate how much he cares about his students.” – Anonymous

Mr. Harry
“He is so kind and really cares about his students. He makes everyone feel welcome and tries his best to make class fun. I normally don’t like English classes but because of Mr. Harry, I have really enjoyed this year.” – Anonymous
“He is fun, patient, and has a good sense of humor.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Haynes
“Profe K is awesome, she has fun activities to help us learn and I’ve really enjoyed having her as a teacher!” – Anonymous
“She’s always there to just talk if you need to and makes sure her students are having fun but also getting practice in their Spanish. She makes the class a good balance.” – Bailyn Duchesneau (11)

Mrs. Hicks
“[She] is so nice and kind” – Charlotte Radcliffe (12)

Ms. Hilborn
“Mrs. Hilborn is hardworking, focused, passionate, and kind. I appreciate her dedication and how she genuinely wants the best for all of us. She helps us become the best versions of ourselves in and outside of the band.” – Deven Loska (12)
“She is a wonderful teacher, not afraid of being hard on you. Without her, I probably would’ve stopped playing in band and not gotten the opportunities that I’ve received thus far. She is a great teacher even though she is sometimes extremely harsh.” – Sarah Chandler (12)

Mrs. Hirai
“Thank you for making computer science and math enjoyable. You bring a realness to the content!” – Anonymous

Commander Hood
“We appreciate his dedication to our futures.” – Anonymous
“I like their [Hood and Stockton] commitment and their support at drill meets and regionals (state). And [for] pushing me to be the best version of myself.” – Anonymous

Ms. Hutcheson
“She’s so funny and makes the horrid class that is AP world actually somewhat enjoyable because of her amazing personality.” – Izzy Morin (10)

Mrs. Jinneman
“Despite all of the stresses she has to regularly handle she still is incredibly active and accommodating for her students.” – Ben Roberts (10)
“I love Mrs. Jinneman! She is such an incredible and hardworking teacher. She has to juggle a lot between getting the yearbook done and teaching her other classes, and she does a great job at it!” – Keira Dooley (12)

Mrs. A. Johnson
“Thank you for making science fun and entertaining! It is clear that you are passionate in what you are teaching and helping students.” – Anonymous

Mr. D. Johnson
“What I appreciate about Mr. Johnson is even though I don’t have him as a science teacher I still love how we greet each other by saying each others’ last names and no matter the situation he will always be the nicest and funniest person you’ll ever meet and if you think about it he’s kinda like your ‘School Dad.’” – Charles Batcheller (9)

Mrs. S. Johnson
“[She] sadly isn’t here but made me believe in science and the freedom that comes with it.” – Z (12)

Mr. Kendall
“He is so funny, caring, and a genuine person. He always looks out for his student and cares about our mental health!” – Avery de Maine (12)
“He always builds personal relationships with his students also he’s cool.” – Madison Ice (12)
“[He is] engaging and fun.” – Jack Graves (12)
“ He’s a super caring teacher and always makes class fun and engaging!” – Anonymous
“[He is] super supportive, understanding, and wanting you to be the best you can be.” – Harley Graves (10)
“[For] treating students equal and creating a great relationship with all our classes.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Kessler
“Thank you for being amazing! You are so sweet and truly care about your students and their futures.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Kjelland
“Thank you for supporting students who need additional support navigating high school. Your attention and support does not go unnoticed.” – Anonymous

Ms. Lancaster
“I really appreciate Ms. Lancaster. She’s been a great teacher for the past two years that I have now had her. This is weird to say about a teacher but I feel like she was more an older sister than a teacher.” – Evante Hemming (12)
“She is a very understanding and kind teacher who really helps you learn and feel included in her classroom.” – Anonymous
“Ms. Lancaster is an amazing teacher. Her class is just a fun place to be. She allows students to have fun and just be themselves while also keeping us on track to finish our assignments. She really cares about her students and does her best to help them succeed.” – Keira Dooley (12)

Ms. Mahony
“Ms. Mahony is so so sweet and cares about each of her students.” – Gwendolyn Bean (9)
“She makes really good snacks.” – Alex (10)
“She’s always been supportive of my decisions and my educational journey. She loves watching me grow and listens to me ramble about my interests. She’s active in engaging in conversation with me and celebrated my birthday with me as well.” – Asher Roberts (12)
“You can tell that she actually wants to be there and enjoys teaching. Overall great personality to have in the classroom.” – Fabian Torres (11)
“She always treats her students like people, and makes me feel at home.” – Tanner (11)
“She is extremely caring and I always look forward to seeing her every day.” – Mabelle Mortenson (12)

Mrs. Mansilla-Hermann
“She is always trying to make her classroom better and has worked so hard joining late in the year and has done an amazing job :)” – Mira Sonnen (10)

Mrs. Mauldin
“You have been such an awesome addition to PHS. You make your classroom a warm and inviting place.” – Anonymous

Mr. Messersmith
“He is a really fun and funny teacher and has lots of energy.” – Ava Miekle (9)
“Mez is cool” – Evante Hemming (12)
“Such a fun teacher, sad I only had him for a semester, but he was a lot of fun.” – Anonymous

Mr. Mick
“Super fun to work with and be around, he got me in touch with my creative side and I can’t thank him enough for it.” – Justin Duckworth (12)
“I appreciate that he always has a smile on his face.” – Anonymous

Mr. Miranda
“[He is] super supportive, understanding, and wanting you to be the best you can be.” – Harley Graves (10)
“[He] keeps up with curriculum without excess homework or going back on promises and keeps the class fun.” – Fabian Torres (11)
“I appreciate Mr. Miranda for making class fun and interesting every day.” – Lotus Hilsenroth (10)

Mrs. Morrison
“Ms. Morrison is another great teacher. She’s helped me through the hardest points of some of our hardest lessons.” – Evante Hemming (12)
“She re-sparked my love of writing in a way no one else would be able to and I’m very glad for that.” – Z (12)
“She is a chill and kind teacher who makes you feel comfortable to be able to share your thoughts and creates an open and welcoming environment.” – Anonymous
“[She is] understanding and cool with students (also doesn’t let anyone walk all over her which is really good).” – Anonymous
“She gives very clear instructions and is very willing to help with whatever we need.” – Megan Silver (12)
“She had always been a fun teacher and I wish I had her all four years. She’s so funny and super supportive and her involvement in our Theater program has helped so much.” – Emily Williams (12)

Mrs. Murphy
“Intelligent teacher who has a very fun class for all her students. Turning science class into a more hands-on experience :)” – Anonymous

Mr. Nelson
“He’s very relaxed and chill and he’s nice.” – Melissa Foreman (12)

Mr. Newton
“Cause he blows [stuff] up” – Melissa Foreman (12)
“Fun physics teacher, made it interesting to learn all of it.” – Jack Graves (12)
“Mr. Newton is an awesome teacher! He cares about his students and always comes up with ways to make class exciting!” – Anonymous
“I appreciate how he makes me enjoy class and truly cares about each of his students.” – Mira Sonnen (10)

Mrs. Nolan
“You are the best! We miss you when you are home with your baby, but we can’t wait for you to return.” – Anonymous

Mr. Nugent
“Uses a lot of solid class examples and makes Psych easy to understand.” – Jack Graves (12)

Mrs. O’Dell
“Mrs. Odell is actually one of the most hilarious people ever.” – Amber Dalby (12)

Mrs. Osera
“Mrs. Osera is such a brilliant bookworm. She’s kind and uses her motherly instincts to care at max capacity for all her students. She makes tough subjects easier on the mind and brings positive energy wherever she goes. I love her expertise in shoes and her vibrant classroom.” – Audrey Derr (9)
“You always push me to be my best and put out the best work that I can while holding me accountable.” – Scarlett Craggs (9)
“I mean, cmon she’s awesome, what else is there to say?” – Kya Schumaker (12)
“[She is] always so nice and helpful when asking questions about college and makes close connections with her students.” – Paige O’Brien (11)

Mrs. Outlaw
“She is really nice and she makes learning Spanish fun by adding games and books to read.”
– Cali Dooley (9)

Mr. Pinneo
“I appreciate that he likes to get work done in a swift and fast manner. He is strict but in a good way- He has good expectations of how students should act and is kind as well.” – Henry Glore

Mr. Pratz
“I appreciated having Pratz for my Algebra 1 my freshman year because I really struggled with math my whole life but he really helped me. He sat down with me and talked out numerous problems together until I figured them out, he gave me a chance to learn from my mistakes on tests and quizzes, and most of all, he has such a fun and safe atmosphere in his classroom that just makes me want to be there. Pratz is awesome!” – Anonymous
“Mr. Pratz really cares about our learning. When concepts are difficult, he explains the in multiple ways so everyone understands and he wants us to be the best students/people we can be.” – Anonymous
“Mr. Pratz is an amazing and fun teacher! Mr. Pratz will take time out of his lunch to help you if you don’t understand anything in math, even if he’s not your math teacher.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Reynolds
“Retired super sweet lady who is very empathetic and giving!” – Anonymous

Mr. Rosson
“He is teaching me life skills and he showed me how to use tools.” – Zach Elder (12)

Ms. Rossing
“I appreciate Ms. Rossing for creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students.” – Lotus Hilsenroth (11)

Ms. Schimschal
“Mrs. Schimschal is hands down the best math teacher I have ever had!” – Colton (11)
“She is a great homeroom teacher! She makes sure we have all the information we need and also gives us time to do any work that we need to get done.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Sellers
“I really like how genuine she is and how engaging she is with her class. It really feels like she wants to be there and like she actually really likes working with her students.” – Landan Hambly
“Mrs. Sellers taught me a lot about shapes and cool stuff in Geometry. She was an awesome teacher.” – Will Whiteley-Ross (11)
“I appreciate her kindness and how much she cares for her students, and how they are feeling, and really listens! She also cares so much for your understanding of what you are learning and if you don’t understand she helps you too. She is my favorite teacher by far I’ve ever had and math has always been my least favorite subject cause I don’t get it but I really look forward to her class every day! Best teacher ever!” – a student from 4th period

Mrs. Smalls
“For wanting the best in all of us and for setting us up for adulthood.” – Jeannie (9)
“She’s real.” – Mabelle Mortensen (12)

Mr. Smith
“I appreciate that he likes to get work done in a swift and fast manner. He is strict but in a good way- He has good expectations of how students should act and is kind as well.” – Henry Glore (9)

Mr. Stahl
“He doesn’t make choir class boring or make the students go straight to their phones. He decides to make class more entertaining by just being himself and using fun warm-ups and uses drama to make Choir class anything but average.” – Charles Batcheller (11)
“He made choir a safe place for me at school.” – Alyssa Robinson (9)
“Choir is so much fun, and while my peers are a big part of that, Stahl has been very welcoming into choir.” – Anonymous
“He is always a cheer me up for all his students and is very supportive of their dreams.” – Izzy Morin (11)
“He’s a bro” – Alex (10)
“He has an extremely open and communal class environment and he’s just such a welcoming and happy personality.” – Ben Roberts (10)
“He is a really nice teacher and takes out thoughts into account and he is such a fun teacher! Mr.Stahl makes singing in choir super fun!” – Cali Dooley (9)
“You have made me a better singer and you are an amazing teacher that knows how to relate and connect to all of us.” – Scarlett Craggs (9)
“I’ve known him for about 3 years and I’m one of the last students that he taught his first year here over Zoom. He’s an amazing choir teacher and always pushes us to be our best.” – Emily Williams (12)

Mrs. Steele
“Thank you for bringing Chinese to the school district. Your energy and passion for Chinese has made such an impact on students.” – Anonymous

Commander Stockton
“I like their [Hood and Stockton] commitment and their support at drill meets and regionals (state). And [for] pushing me to be the best version of myself.” – AnonymousMr. Stitt
“He is so fun and engaging which makes me look forward to coming to class.” – Amber Dalby (12)
“He’s such a fun teacher. His class is always entertaining.” – Anonymous

Mrs. Swainston
“Thank you for all you do for students. You make English fun and accessible.” – Anonymous

Mr. Tucci
“He makes pe/sports and just working out in all really fun to do and makes me want to work out more.” – Ava Miekle (9)

Mx Wayne
“Thank you for your passion in the classroom and for making your classroom an inclusive and welcoming place. We are so glad you are at PHS!” – Anonymous

Mr. Winquist
“Mr. Winquist is a really great teacher. He really cares about how his students are doing and wants them to do well.” – Keira Dooley (12)