Early Years: Personal Story
In 1981, I started 3rd grade at The Chapel School after attending a public school. My parents made tremendous sacrifices and daring risks to send me to this fledgling startup. Over the years, I had many wonderful teachers who poured into my life at the school, but one teacher stands out.
In 3rd and 4th grade, I gave my teachers a run for their money. I was a good kid, but routinely received comments on my report cards that said, “I love Scott to death , but…” or “I would take Scott home as my own, but…” or “...he talks too much in class, he can’t sit still, etc.”
Then, I entered 5th grade. LIz Peters, the mother of my good friend Paul Peters, was our teacher. On the very first day class on Lanier Drive, Mrs. Peters wrote this sentence on the board:
“At this point in your life, you have learned to read; from now on, you will read to learn.”
I knew then that Mrs. Peters’ class would be different. Interested in more than just academics, Liz Peters saw the potential in me… and in countless other students with whom she came in contact – a common trait of a Master Teacher!
I remember when Mrs. Peters established the “honor chair of the week,” for a student who best exemplified certain qualities. In that very first week, she called my name to sit in the honor chair.
In sheer disbelief, and to the snickers of many of my classmates, I sat. She and I both knew that I did not deserve to sit in that honor chair, especially when students like Jamie Anglin and Robyn Munson were clearly more deserving. But what I sensed then, and believe today, was that Mrs. Peters was calling forth something she saw in me. From that point on, I began to change the way I viewed my behavior in class. I was being called to something greater... and it changed my life.
You may have had a teacher like Liz Peters; many of us have, and are better for the experience. Today, I offer you an opportunity to do something in return, to give back.
To meet the growing demand for funding of Master Teachers like Liz Peters and many others, the Peters family has established the Liz Peters Master Teacher Endowment. Since it’s inception in 2009, the fund has raised $330,000. Our goal is to reach $1 million within the next 2 years.
An endowment is a donation of money or property for the ongoing support of an organization or effort. Contributions to an endowment are not used for operations; gifts made will remain intact for the life of the endowment and proceeds from the corpus will be used to support Master Teachers. Gifts to an endowment keep giving year after year.
What You Can Do to Help?
Today I ask you to consider four ways you can support the Liz Peters Master Teacher Endowment:
First, make a gift. Your contribution will allow us to meet the current demands of the Master Teacher program.
Second, consider moving some assets and pledging contributions over the next 3 years.
Third, consider a gift through estate planning or other long term giving that is unique to your circumstances—stock in a sale of your company, inheritance, etc. If you would like more information on how to plan for more complex property donations, and possible tax benefits, contact Kinch Cato, Director of Advancement.
Finally, think of someone you know that may be interested in learning more about the Liz Peters Master Teacher Endowment. We want to raise awareness not only for fund raising, but to promote the quality of our awards and the teachers who receive them.
Honor a teacher who significantly invested in your life by investing in teachers now and in the future through your support of the Liz Peters Master Teacher Endowment.
P. Scott Bardwell '91
Chairman, Master Teacher Endowment Committee