Letter: I’m a better person because of Clapper | AspenTimes.com

Letter: I’m a better person because of Clapper

When we're little, we don't know the extent of the influence our teachers have on us and who we become. Maybe we never really know. I do know that I am forever lucky to have been one of Clapper's Killers. I do know that I am a better person because of my fifth-grade teacher, Willard Clapper, better known as Mr. C.

I was fortunate to see him on a visit back to Aspen just over a year ago — 23 years after being his student.

He was just as I remembered — full of life, funny, huge-hearted and infectious with exuberance.

Then, and now, I wanted him to be proud of me.

I don't remember exactly how Mr. C did it, but he taught us to be individuals. He taught us to embrace life. He taught us that it's OK to be passionate and loud. He taught us to overcome challenges and have high expectations of ourselves.

Goodbye, Mr. C, and thank you for being my teacher.

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You live on in so many of us — and we will continue to work to make you proud.

Kari Dequine Harden

New Orleans