President Obama Writes About His Fifth-Grade Teacher

President Obama remembered how his fifth-grade teacher impacted his life and education.

President Obama sent a message to The White House email list to highlight the importance of education and having good teachers.

The 53-year-old president wrote about how Ms. Hefty, a teacher he had back in the fifth grade at his new school in Hawaii who impacted his life and education.

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In the email titled "My Fifth-Grade Teacher," he wrote: “I credit my education to Ms. Mabel Hefty just as much as I would any institution of higher learning. When I entered Ms. Hefty's fifth-grade class at Punahou School in the fall of 1971, I was just a kid with a funny name in a new school, feeling a little out of place, hoping to fit in like anyone else. The first time she called on me, I wished she hadn't. In fact, I wished I were just about anywhere else but at that desk, in that room of children staring at me. But over the course of that year, Ms. Hefty taught me that I had something to say -- not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special.”

In the email, which was posted on The White House’s website, President Obama also congratulated 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples, of Amarillo, Texas, who he honored Wednesday in a ceremony in The Rose Garden.

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Obama also encouraged readers of his message to use the hashtag #ThankATeacher and share their stories.

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