There is always that person, or multiple people, which we thank for helping us get to where we are today.

For some of us we have a mentor who takes our hand and guides our way and for others it is those who may not have known they even left an impression — this may be a good samaritan or someone just doing their job — what they are passionate about leaving an everlasting thumbprint in our lives.

It is with a heavy heart one of my own has passed.

In high school, I wasn’t really what they called a “social butterfly,” I would rather sit down and create things.

My graphic design teacher in high school, Mr. Boyer, was someone I looked up to when it came to skill, compassion towards others and passion for doing what you love.

He may have just been doing what he does as an ordinary high school teacher — allowing us to explore our capabilities and strengthen our skills.

I cannot say that he guided me into any particular avenue or put any special effort towards me as a student, but his teaching methods and the way he interacted with students was helpful and encouraging when things around me weren’t going so well.

In his class I had always taken note of his humor when dealing with students and all the silly things they do, and there was no misunderstanding of what his expectations of us were.

It was in his class when I asked him if I could take part in building the sports media guides. At the time, I was very new with building pages in InDesign, so it was a brave decision to let me organize the pages. It turned out to be my favorite project.

A few years later, I found myself at Pittsburg State University studying nursing. I kept thinking, about those darn media guides. They were in the back of my mind constantly.

I talked with the Graphic and Imaging Technology Department and was sent to the Department of Communication because I wanted to do more than just design — advertising, public relations, writing and photography.

I found myself in Mike Gullett’s office, unbeknownst to me he became another great mentor. He walked me around the corner and showed me a “High Gloss Magazine,” which students made and was similar to the magazines I made in Boyer’s class.

I was sold at that point — communication became my new major and six years later I’m sitting here writing this.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.