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Can you estimate how many gallons of gas you can buy for $30 at $2.49 per gallon?

Chances are, you learned how from a teacher.

Remember an inspirational book that still adds meaning to your life, or can you cite portions of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech?

Thank a teacher.

Know how to collaborate with others in small groups to solve a problem at work?

Most likely, a teacher helped you develop that skill.

Do you see yourself as creative, are you driven to learn more, to understand the inner workings of a combustion engine or an atom, to appreciate other cultures, to sight read music or play an instrument, to look at the stars and wonder what’s out there?

For most of us, the inspiration and driving forces in our lives can be traced back to a handful of people. And many of those people were teachers.

Please join with the La Crosse Public Education Foundation on Wednesday for Thank a Teacher in La Crosse Public Schools Day.

Mayor Tim Kabat will issue a proclamation, joining the members of the La Crosse School Board, Superintendent Randy Nelson and other district leaders in support of the day of recognition.

Volunteers will be delivering messages of thanks — plus some muffins, doughnuts and fresh fruit — throughout the district before the start of school on Wednesday.

Treats for nearly 1,000 employees are provided because of grant support from the La Crosse Community Foundation’s Carol and Duane Taebel Family Fund. Other community volunteers are expected to participate, including Rotary Interact Clubs from Central and Logan high schools.

Later on Wednesday, the La Crosse Public Education Foundation will join in another special celebration as we help sponsor the school district’s annual retirement dinner.

This year’s event will honor 26 people — teachers and a host of other district employees from cooks to custodians to counselors — with a combined 550 years of service in La Crosse’s public schools.

While several have already retired, most will complete their service when the school year ends in June.

The end of the school year is a good time to reflect on what teachers and other staff have meant to our lives.

Recently, we received a gift along with a letter indicating the donation was being made “in honor of our granddaughters’ teachers this year” at Emerson Elementary School.

The letter went on to say: “We are thrilled with (our granddaughters’) love of learning and their excitement with Emerson Elementary and its offerings. Both of us are former educators, and we recognize the work, dedication and joy of teaching. … It’s important to us that public education and public school teachers know they are appreciated.”

We hope you’ll join us Wednesday — or any day — in showing gratitude for the valuable contributions made each day by teachers and all employees of the School District of La Crosse.

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David Stoeffler is executive director of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. He canbe reached at 608-787-0226 or at


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