He really is a great teacher. I’ve been in his classroom and seen first-hand his engaging style with his History students. Another time I observed Mr. Russell leading basketball practice after school. There I saw students that I knew to be uncomfortable in the classroom, yet here on the basketball court with Coach Russell mentoring them, they were engaged and in their element. He is inspiring and worthy of this award.
For me, this brings back my memories of teaching. I taught in five schools in three states during a 14-year career, prior to being called to ministry. During that time, I adopted a personal mission statement: My mission as a teacher is to share the life-changing wonder, joy and power of ideas with all students. I often reflected that it was impossible to know if my teaching made a difference when students left my classroom. A very few former students contacted me later to say that they appreciated my influence on their lives. For the rest, I considered it an act of faith: teachers do the best they can, pouring heart and soul into their jobs, trusting that their efforts will have a positive effect on their students. I know so many teachers who are doing this every day, and each of them deserves to be honored.
Spirit of Life and Love, you gave us the wisdom to have schools for our children; you instilled in some of us the passion to teach.
May God bless Mr. Kurt Russell. May God bless his family and his loved ones, his colleagues and his students past, present and future.
May the benevolent spirit of humanity bless our parents, our communities, our school boards and our elected leaders to support students and to support the heroic teachers who serve them every day.
May love, wisdom, kindness and curiosity bless every student and every teacher. Amen.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
April 21, 2022