Marianne Mayfield is my fifth-grade teacher and the reason I'm in computers today. She was at my wedding, at graduations, at family events. Twenty years later and we are still close.
When I was young, she recognized that I was "at risk for trouble" and sat down with my family in order to find a way to get me back on track. She saw that I was transfixed by the Apple II in our classroom and set it up so we could sneak the computer out of the school as long as it was back by Sunday Night and noone noticed.
She taught me to think before speaking (still working on that one.)
She taught me that using one's gifts for good is a responsibility as much as it is a privilege.
She taught me how to speak publicly.
She taught me how to be polite and slow down (still working on that one.)
She taught me what's important in life is people.
I continue to wish her all the best in her fight with cancer. If anyone's going to beat it, it will be her.