Mr. Schoeffler

When I was in 6th grade (I can’t believe how long ago that has already been) my teacher was an awesome role model. He was very enthusiastic about his job, an honest and hard worker, and had a knack for telling great stories. There were so many stories our class loved… stories about Bambi, his grandfather, and the weird occurrences he went though as a waiter. Many of us would often stay after school and help him grade papers and put up all of our artwork around the classroom. I remember one day after school, he told some of us the story about the starfish. I remembered the moral of the story today, but I couldn’t remember all of the details.

After searching online, I finally found the story I had recalled from all those years ago here.


Once there was a man walking along the beach. It was a beautiful day and the sun shined brightly down on all of the soft sand. However, off in the distance he could see a woman walking back and forth along the surf’s edge and a little further up into the beach. Back and forth this figure went. As the man approached, he began to see hundreds of starfish stranded in the sand along the shoreline. This was a result of the natural action of the tide. The man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish to save; many of them were sure to die. As he drew nearer, the woman didn’t look up as she continued the task of picking up starfish one-by-one and throwing them back into the surf.
After a minute of watching, the man shook his head and said, “You must be crazy. There are miles of this beach covered in starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference.”
The woman finally looked up at the man. She then stooped down to pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. She turned back tot he man and smiled. “It sure made a difference to that one!”

The moral of the story was that every single one of us were capable to make a difference. I know I took that with me from that day forward.

I’ll never forget the stories he told his students or the incredibly positive impact he has had on our lives. It has already been 6 years since you were taken from this world and it feels like we were all singing Dolly Parton songs together in class just yesterday. Rest in peace, Mr. Schoeffler.

– Jenni


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