Personal Reflection | What I Learned from Juli Gerlach

English teacher Juli Gerlach was a beloved member of the faculty.


English teacher Juli Gerlach was a beloved member of the faculty.

Madison Aguilera, Staff Writer

This week, the community came together in one of the hardest times, expressing sadness with one another for the passing of Gulliver’s “Ray of Sunshine”.

Mrs. Gerlach taught me to be kind, no matter what obstacles were thrown at me. She sacrificed her needs for the wants for her students. I was in Gerlach’s class my freshman year, and since then I knew I was capable of going to her whenever I needed support. 

Earlier this year, I was going through a rough period in my life. I was not sure what to do or how to handle the situation. Gerlach had a long conversation with me, taking time to sit with me after school. 

She told me something I will never forget. “You are not going to quit, you are going to push through, and be the fire that you are,” Gerlach said. “No matter what anyone has ever said about you, I count you in.”

I can go on and on about everything she said to me about what it means to be a good person. Gerlach once told me that her favorite song was “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw, and ever since then, when I hear that song I am reminded of Gerlach and remember what it means to be the bigger person.

She taught me how to set priorities in life. She guided me from darkness to light, and helped me realize that there is a bigger picture. It made my day walking down the hallway and seeing her face, when she would call me different names like “peanut” and notice every time I changed my hair.

Just the things Gerlach did for the Gulliver community made me see her as more than just a teacher; she was a role model, a true Raider, a leader, a hard worker, and a ray of sunshine.

Everyone needs someone like Gerlach in their life’s journey, and I was truly the luckiest person alive to experience her kindness firsthand.