Lasting Impact: Thank you, Tim Shipp!

John Downey

Guest Contributor • National Geographic Learning | Cengage

This week is teacher appreciation week, and for me maybe the most impactful one I’ll ever have.

Teachers shape us more than we realize, and in ways that ultimately influence your life for decades to come. For me, one stands out by far – who happens to be “hanging it up” this year. Tim Shipp will retire from teaching this year, but his influence will continue for many years to come.

In my time with Tim in high school some 30 years ago, I learned some key lessons:

• If you learn how things work, you’ll be able to make them better

• Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and occasionally break stuff

• Life’s too short not to have fun, even while doing important things

• It’s fine to get close to breaking the rules, just don’t be a jerk

Growing up in a rural town without a lot of money, those seemed like very practical lessons to get me through high school and be able to make a decent living. Fast forward 30 years: I’ve been very fortunate to have an awesome life with a fantastic family and great career; I even have the privilege of leading over 1,000 employees in locations around the world in a Fortune 100 company. When I reflect on those lessons above, they are very much what I use with the team I lead today. If those lessons above aren’t the epitome of leadership, I don’t know what is.

To Tim and teachers like you, please take this note and my “Thanks” as a small token of appreciation. To students and administrators alike, always remember to learn and value the lessons that are taught outside of the curriculum. 


Is there an educator that has left a similar impact on your life or the lives of the children in their classroom? Show your gratitude by nominating them to win our Teacher Appreciation Week giveaway for the chance to win a National Geographic Learning | Cengage tumbler and a $100 Amazon gift card!

The Samples You Want Without The Wait!

Request samples for your classrooms without the hassle. Our new SampleNow site gives you access to hundreds of samples in minutes.
Shopping Basket