The power of literature and a great teacher make all the difference

Ms. Sexton, a Minneapolis Public Schools legacy, is unquestionably one of the best teachers that I have ever had. She introduced me to Shakespeare, Whitman, T.S. Eliot, and Chinua Achebe, but more importantly, she connected with her students, put “honor before grades” above all else, and fostered a love of learning that transcended the classroom. Her ability to work one-on-one with a student in writing is something that I strove to do when teaching high school English. During my junior year of high school, I remember struggling with how to identify my own unique argument in an essay. She met with me and, through her persistent questioning, helped me arrive at an argument that I constructed. As a senior, I took the International Baccalaureate English exam. I still remember the passage that I had to analyze from The Scarlet Letter. Due to Ms. Sexton’s teaching, I had the skills that I needed to develop an analysis and the confidence that I could actually do it.

– Katherine, Minneapolis,MN