Hear from Ben Hepler about the influence of being a teacher that isn't always confessed by the student until after they leave the classroom at Stokes County Schools.Visit Website
Meet Ben Hepler
Stokes County Schools and West Stokes High School are a special place. I have taught in larger districts but here you know that the decisions being made truly have the student’s well-being as the first priority. The surrounding communities invest in the schools and support us in countless ways. It truly feels like an extended family.
Why I Teach
After my fourth year of teaching, I left the classroom for an opportunity to coach college football. Three years later, I received a letter from a student. She sat in the back of my freshman biology class during my last year at the school. She was a quiet student in a class of 32. I did not have what I thought was a close bond with her or even talk one-on-one with her very often, other than answering biology questions. Her letter told me she was getting ready to graduate and would attend college to major in biology. She wanted to thank me for the great job I did teaching her favorite class in her entire 4 years of high school and that I was a big influence in her decision to study biology in college. I was blown away. I thought of all of the teachers, professors, and coaches that were so important in my life, many of whom I had never contacted. And yet, here was this student, who had taken the time to find my address and write that letter. Wow. That’s why I teach. I still have the letter. It is very important to me and was a big part of what brought me back to the classroom a year and a half after receiving it. Teachers impact the lives of students in meaningful and lasting ways every day, even though most times we will never know about it.