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Stephen Boehme – Viewmont High School

Dear Teacher Feature,
My husband and I were just talking about how grateful we are to one special teacher who has made all the difference in the life of our daughter and decided that he needed to be the next “Teacher Feature”! Our daughter Marqui, a senior this year at Viewmont High School, has had severe health problems including chronic migraines since eighth grade. This has caused her to miss many days of school which has also caused frustration with keeping up in school, difficulty passing classes, and loss of confidence. Her junior year when we thought that things were so bad she might not even graduate, she luckily got enrolled in a ceramics class with Stephen Boehme, the ceramics, sculpture and jewelry teacher at Viewmont High School. “Boehme.” (That’s what all the students call him) has ended up being more than just a teacher for Marqui.

To start with, that first week in ceramics class school started to be a place Marqui wanted to wake up and go to again in the mornings, even with a bad headache and not much sleep the night before. We knew she had talent, but Boehme with his fun, joking sense of humor and high expectations brought confidence back to her that made all the difference. Because she had a great teacher that believed in her and understood her health difficulties, she was able to take on all the other difficulties that high school brings.

Boehme, impressed with Marqui’s ability in ceramics encouraged her to take ceramics 3 and Jewelry her senior year. Because he is such a good teacher these two classes are almost impossible to get into. She came home very excited to look forward to her senior year. After the first week of school she needed to drop a class that was too difficult because of all the school she had missed and Boehme was very supportive to have her be his teacher assistant. This was such a great opportunity for Marqui, he gave her even more confidence letting her help the other students and even let her sit in the back on those days of bad migraines.

One day when school was really getting difficult because of missing so much and getting behind, Marqui came home all excited saying, “I need a picture to give them to hang up in the front of the school because I have been picked Student of the Month!” We found out later that Boehme had some how changed her area of focus to art so that he could nominate her as student of the month. If it weren’t for Boehme the past two years in our daughter’s life she might not have even finished to graduate and definitely not with any confidence.

In addition to just helping Marqui recognize her talent, Boehme has a way of teaching important life skills like compassion, responsibility, and dedication. For the Christmas project of earning money for the Guadalupe Center, Boehme had the students make bowls that they would sell soup in at lunchtime. The students were so excited they would go in after school and any other free times to help with this project- yes, they earned lots of money and were very proud to be a part of such a great cause. Marqui also recalls time when Boehme spends his own money to buy special supplies for their projects and all the personal time he gives during lunch and after school to help students. Boehme has made a huge difference for our daughter and for every student who has had the opportunity to take one of his classes. Please accept this nomination for Stephen Boehme who quietly goes about his work every day making a huge difference for students!

–Julie Peters