Rockstar teachers

Students share their most memorable teachers throughout the Lake Stevens School District

As the 2021-2022 school year wraps up at Lake Stevens High School, students share what teachers were the most memorable throughout the years. These teachers found ways to make lessons fun and unique, helped their students make long-lasting friendships with lifelong memories, and inspired them to simply do their best each and every day. These remarkable teachers will continue to be remembered as new generations of students make their way through the schools. Students from grades ten through twelve at LSHS talked about which teachers left an impact on their learning, and shared stories they remembered from those classes.

Neil Proff is the band teacher at Lake Stevens High School. (Dakota Latham)

Neil Proff
“He’s a good friend, he’s a great teacher, he helps us learn, he’s there for us when we have to talk about school things, personal things, and he’s just really relatable. He always cares what you have to say,” sophomore Chone Ewell said.

“It’s just little tiny, funny stuff. He likes to poke fun at the students in a loving way. It’s never with cruel intent, but just sometimes, it’s just the tiny little jokes he makes that are just really funny. So I think yeah, just every day is just fun to be in his class,” Ewell added.


Picture perfect: Brady Dykgraaf stands ready to teach class dressed as George Washington. Dykgraaf teaches eighth grade Washington State and US History at Cavelero Mid High School. “Sometimes you got to appreciate teachers and what they do because, I don’t know, they put up with kids and we’re kind of difficult to deal with,” sophomore Evelynn Skelly said. (Courtesy of Brady Dykgraaf)

Brady Dykgraaf
“I don’t really like the history subjects, but it was a really fun class because he did like, a lot of different activities and stuff. One of the fun activities we did in that class was reenacting the Revolutionary War. So we all… went out to the cafeteria with, like rifles and pretended to shoot each other. It was really fun,” senior Shelby Farler said.


Joel Kesler teaches history at Lake Stevens High School. (Courtesy of Joel Kesler)

Joel Kesler
“He makes the class interesting. His teaching is different than every other history class. Basically, every day is funny, there’s always something that happens every day,” junior Aden Putnam said.


Tina Kinnard teaches English 8, Challenge English 8, and Pre-AP English 9 at Cavelero Mid High School. (Courtesy of Tina Kinnard)

Tina Kinnard
“She was super sweet, and she just made the environment super nice and was always happy and positive and allowed us to not have a ton of work without also giving us enough warning,” junior Emma Miner said.

“I had her for two years. So we would basically just go back and forth all the time, and she loved cats, and I fostered kittens. So we had like a unique relationship about that. But she also thought that cats were better than dogs, and I still thought that dogs were better than cats, so… that’s a really weird story, but I don’t know. That was just really fun. And then also, I just had a lot of good friends in that class that I’ve carried through with me,” Miner added.


Ronald Lee teaches seventh grade Math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra at Lake Stevens Middle School. (Courtesy of Ronald Lee)

Ronald Lee
“It was such a blast in his class. He just helped me like learn how to learn by myself. And I feel like I wouldn’t enjoy math class without how his class was taught,” sophomore Dalia Hansen said.

“He would bang his head on the wall, just randomly, and then, like he would yell at people. He would ask them to do the questions, and if they did it, he would throw Tootsie Rolls [at the students]… he just made it so much fun. It was scary at first, but he helped me learn how to work as a team and depend on classmates as well,” Hansen said.

“He pushed and I liked that. And he was one of the few teachers which everyone in my family loved… he would physically push you and purposely not give you enough time to finish a problem and force you to think on the fly. He was one of the few teachers, who, in middle school that I felt was truly teaching because… it was thrive or die. And it wasn’t that hard to thrive,” sophomore Dominic Hatcher-Thomassen said.


Joey Bywater (Cavelero Mid High School Math and Leadership teacher)
“He was just, he was a personality. He always just was like the nice person, and he wanted to make everybody feel super comfortable around everybody else. So that just really made him stand out to me. During virtual learning there was a time, where for some reason he had these clowns in his classroom and he, like, used the clowns in the camera as him and it was really weird and kind of scary, but it was really fun,” sophomore Evelyn Skelly said.


Travis Krause is a teacher at North Lake Middle School. He taught science for a total of 21 years (thirteen years teaching seventh graders, and eight years teaching eighth), and now teaches sixth grade art. (Courtesy of Travis Krause)

Travis Krause
“He was very organized, and I really appreciated that. I really liked the way that he taught, he always kept everyone engaged and made the content really interesting. And, I learned more in that class than I’ve learned in any other science class,” senior McKenzie McLeod said.

“We had chickens, so we had eggs that were incubated and then they hatched in our class. And that was really cool. Another thing I remember is he always had plants in his class and little fish. So he just made the class really cool,” McLeod added.


Monica Grimm is a third grade teacher at Glenwood Elementary School. (Courtesy of Monica Grimm)

Monica Grimm
“I like her enthusiastic teaching style. She’s always really happy and energetic, and just made the class really fun and memorable,” sophomore Skyler Zapffe said.

“Yeah, I remember we were learning math and a kid answers the question correctly, and she swings her shoe across the room and she’s like, ‘Oh, wow, that answer is so good it knocks my shoe off’. And it might not sound super exciting now, but as a third grader, it’s just, that’s what made me remember that class,” Zapffe continued.


Mrs. Libby (previous North Lake Middle School Math teacher)
“She was very memorable because she was not only a great math teacher, she helped kids, but she also created a very fun learning environment. Every morning she would be playing the Moana soundtrack in the classroom. And we would come in and get to listen to that music every morning,” junior Lily Scrivens said.

“One time she lost her purse, and she couldn’t find it anywhere. And then she had this idea that maybe she put her purse in the recycling bin. But the recycling bin was emptied out, and so she was like, ‘It can’t be in my car, like I checked my car a million times, it’s not in there. Like I think it might be in the big recycling bins.’ Me and Rachel [O’Malley] spent our hour-long math class in the school trash bins trying to find her purse, and we didn’t find it… It was in the front seat of her car,” Scrivens shared.


While Teacher Appreciation Week was at the beginning of May, anytime is a great time to tell your teacher how thankful you are for them. Teachers work very hard to make school a fun and safe place for students to learn, so make sure to share your appreciation when you are able to!