This series of stories were written by high school students from Joe Pellerito’s Advanced Teen Leadership Class at East Kentwood High School. They wrote about the heroes in their lives. Stories were written especially for now.wktv.com.
A hero in my eyes is someone with a genuine and caring heart. Someone who is there when I and others need them and unafraid to speak their mind.
One of my heroes is a strong and spirited woman who walks into a classroom with a bright smile on her face and a positive attitude that shows she’s ready for whatever life has to throw at her. She has a powerful voice that can be heard across an entire school and is never afraid to use it. My hero is an absolutely wonderful choir teacher named Mrs. Carrie Hoeksema.
Each day she walks into the choir classroom at East Kentwood High School full of energy and ready to lead our class and motivate us to perform beautiful music. She consistently pushes the class to sing out and let our voices be heard, and always compliments and teaches us how to do better and grow as musicians. She’s always there for her students, and is always looking to help in any way she can.
Her inspiration to become a choir teacher came during her freshman year of college. She had been in band in high school and had her doubts about what choir would be like, but she decided to give it a try anyway. The choir instructor at the time was retiring, and the new instructor was the one who really inspired her to pursue a career as a choir teacher herself.
As a choir teacher, she feels like the most satisfying part of her job is the interaction with teens, the wide range of emotions surrounding them, and just the dramatic flair that comes with it. She thinks teens are full of hope and ideas, that they are unbreakable, and even responsible. The best part about her job is finding out these things from her students and creating strong relationships with them. She is sure they take the lessons she has taught and make use of it long after high school and college.
Her faith is very important to her, and she owes her biggest influence to God. She believes God inspires her to be the best person that she can be. She also believes God planted her on Earth to help and inspire kids and be a positive role model. Her faith keeps her going, and inspires her to keep kids and even staff members upbeat. Along with her faith, she owes her peppy spirit and personality to her late Grandma Sorensen, who was also quite bubbly and positive.
As a leader herself, she looks up to students who show leadership skills. She believes compassion, ethics, confidence, commitment, the willingness to learn, helping others, and the sense of community and world are all very important qualities of a leader.
Mrs. Hoeksema is not only one of my heroes, but also a strong and positive leader, an amazing teacher, and an awesome person to be around.