Mindy Buck, English teacher at Woodward-Granger High School, was not only inspired to become an educator by her high school teachers; they also inspired her to become the type of teacher she wanted to be: a supportive and caring one.
"I remember one time I didn’t study for a History test because I was too busy being the high school kid who wanted to hang out with her friends rather than study," recalls Buck. "When I got the test back which was a D, Mr. Lyness had written a note to me on the back of the test. He wrote how he knew that I was much better than this grade and that I needed to work harder and get the grades that he knew I could get. "That really left a huge impact on me. He spent the time to let me know how much education should mean to me and that I’m important to him. Since then, I have committed myself to being that type of a teacher. One that my students know that I care about each and every one of them and that their success is very important to me."
And she has impacted students in this positive way. Many of her previous students have come back to visit her and tell her how much she inspired them.
"I have been blessed to have many wonderful students over the past ten years," Buck gushes. "Many come back to visit me and have stayed in contact with me over the years. That is just incredible to me: to know that they have moved on in their lives but still take the time to come back and see me, invite me to their weddings, introduce me to their children. It’s something that is very special to me. I miss them when they leave, and to know that I meant something to them that they stop by to see me means the world to me."
She has even inspired some of her students in the same way that her favorite teachers inspired her.
"Former students contact me to tell me they have gone into English Education because of me and that I inspired them to become a teacher."
Besides just being a teacher, Buck is also the Drama Director and Speech Coach and has been for the past six years. As a senior teacher, she is also on the Senior Project Committee. "My favorite part about my job is watching students grow up and be successful in ways they didn’t think they could be," Buck explains, which is exactly what happens as they complete their Senior Project. "It is such a joy watching the students begin these projects at the beginning of their senior year, thinking they will never get it done, will fail their presentation, and not be able to write and pass the senior paper," reveals Buck.
"And then their faces when they turn in their final portfolio. The smile on their faces when they realize they passed is priceless. So many don’t believe in themselves, and when you get to see them finally having faith they can succeed is one of the most rewarding parts of my job."
She loves exactly what she is doing now and hopes to continue in this position for years to come.
"My hope for the future is that I will continue working with students and being an inspiration to them in their lives and helping them succeed in any way I can."
Mindy Buck and her husband, Dallas, have two children. Tyler is a senior at the University of Iowa, and CJ is an eighth grader at Ogden Middle School.