Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
KCTS Golden Apple Awards
January 23, 2004

Good evening everyone. I am honored to be here for another KCTS Golden Apple Award ceremony.

It has been said, “The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires.” It is clear tonight that we are in the presence of greatness.

To all of the educators we honor here tonight—congratulations, and thank you for inspiring our children.

Great teachers are the soul of an enlightened society. We entrust in them the most precious things in life—our children.

This is an act of faith. And we have that faith because in our own lives, we owe so much of who we are and what we’ve achieved to great teachers. We can all name a great teacher who changed our lives. A teacher who inspired us.

When I was in third grade, I had a different teacher. She used me a lot as an example. I was an example of how not to swing a bat, how not to spell. I dreaded school.

Then I got to 6th grade, and Mr. Grefton. Mr. Grefton encouraged me. He assigned me to write a report, and Mr. Grefton told me he was so proud of me that he wanted me to present it to other classes too. But what he really conveyed to me was that I had worth. That I could learn. That I could achieve high goals.

Each of us has our own Mr. Gefton. And tonight’s honored teachers will be remembered by their students in the same way.

And the positive influences of these teachers will be passed on and on by the students they have touched and inspired.

And so, thank you to the teachers we honor tonight, and the many more great teachers out there, who quietly devote their lives to inspiring our children.

Thank you, and congratulations.

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