Carla Rea Talks About The Teacher That Shaped Her Life
Did you have a favorite teacher? I sure did, and over half of Americans say they had a teacher who changed their LIFE.
53% of us say at least one teacher changed our life. And it doesn’t matter how old you are. 60% of seniors say it’s true, and so do 54% of people under 30. So there are still a lot of great teachers out there making a difference. It’s most likely to happen in high school. 33% were in grades 9 through 12, 13% were in 6th to 8th grade, and 16% said somewhere between 5th grade and kindergarten. 7% said it was a teacher they had after high school, like a professor in college.
Mine was Mrs. Sohrt (pronounced Sort), my fifth grade at Mt. Rose Elementary School in Reno. That might seem early, but she literally made me the comedian/radio host I am today.
We were all given the assignment of giving a speech. I was trilled beyond belief, while my classmates were all terrified. I couldn’t understand why no one would want to get up in front of the class, and talk!
My brothers were fans of old Marx Brothers movies, so I had seen a few (at my ripe old age of 10), and knew the brothers, and knew many of their funny lines. I outlined my index cards, and was all ready to go! Turned out I really didn’t even use my cards, because I already knew my subject very well.
I got an A, and I had a blast entertaining my classmates – and I KNEW his was for me! I even offered to do my classmates speeches for them – which would have defeated the purpose – but I felt bad because many of them cried, and were so nervous. I came to understand at a very young age, that this is a very real fear for many people. Mrs. Sohrt was very compassionate, and just told them to “try” – if they couldn’t do it, it was ok.
I mentioned Mrs. Sohrt in an interview I did when I went back to work at Catch A Rising Star Comedy Club in Reno, many years later. She read the interview in the paper and came to see me perform. She brought me roses, and was so flattered that I had mentioned what she did for me in my young life.
I was saddened to find out that Mrs. (Barbetta) Sohrt passed away last year (2021). I knew her as my fifth grade teacher, but she was much more than that.
While at Mount Rose Elementary School for almost 25 years, she was part of the group that successfully saved Reno’s oldest historical school from being torn down. She was a lifelong member of ADK Women’s Educator Association and served as state president more than once. She finished her career as Washoe County School District Energy and Science Coordinator.
Later, she focused on her lifelong passions of science and aerospace education. She became actively involved in Civil Air Patrol and promoted several youth oriented aviation programs and science curriculum. As an invited guest, she attended the first United States space shuttle Columbia landing in 1981.
I will never forget Mrs. Sohrt, and will forever be grateful to her for the comedy career I pursued, and have loved working at for decades!