Mrs. Mairs, one of Dana’s most beloved teachers, has been a huge inspiration and source of encouragement for many Dana students. As a former APUSH student of Mrs. Mairs, I can confidently assess that I indeed left the classroom a different, more improved human than I was when I began her rigorous APUSH course.
Mrs. Mairs had a unique path to becoming a teacher. As an eighteen year old, she was living in Hollywood and writing band reviews, where she describes that “there was never a dull moment.” After exploring her career in Hollywood, where she ran advertisements for different bands, she realized that she “really could never advance further without a college degree.” Her time in college was far from easy, as she had to “figure out how to maneuver college and life expenses without any help.” Nonetheless, Mrs. Mairs persevered and built a life for herself as a history teacher. She began teaching at ANHS in 2000, and then transferred to DHHS in 2007. She describes her decision to teach at DHHS as “the very best decision of [her] career” because she has “a family here and [has] been supported by [her] team every step of the way.”
As a teacher, Mrs. Mairs has wishes for her students, and she wants nothing more than her students to be happy. To Mrs. Mairs, “happiness is personal” and “it looks different for each one of us.” Mrs. Mairs hopes to see her students achieve personal fulfillment, in any form that one might reach that state of contentment. To all the students struggling right now, Mrs. Mairs states this, which speaks heights on its own: “STOP LOOKING AT WHO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE! You are only supposed to be YOU. That is it. Just be you. You are enough. You are beautiful. You are capable. You are cared for. You are worthy. You are strong. You are you and that makes you perfectly wonderful.” Mrs. Mairs’s support for her students is unwavering, and she encourages her students to pursue life’s journey without harping on the difficult aspects of life. Mrs. Mairs ultimately serves as a reminder to her students that there is an adult on campus who has unconditional love for every student who enters and exits her class.
STOP LOOKING AT WHO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!
And, lastly, to the class of 2021, Mrs. Mairs asks all of us to “be gentle with yourself, but do not afford yourself excuses that will allow you to fall short of your potential.” Class of 2021, the path is ours from here on out, and as Mrs. Mairs tries to convey, our path is what we make of it!
Be gentle with yourself, but do not afford yourself excuses that will allow you to fall short of your potential
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