Freakonomics has a post thanking a third grade teacher, and the Post reports on a Wall Street type memorializing his third grade teacher. My third grade teacher was Charlotte Kenyon, who had, in today's language, had gravitas, both literally and figuratively. Back in the day the obese were a rarity in the land, but Mrs. Kenyon was fat. But she was also determined and dedicated. The student grapevine told stories about her, usually exaggerated. But having stories told about one means the teacher was significant, and she was. She was the teacher alumni would use as a reference point, a shared experience, a force of nature: "you went to the Forks, did you have Mrs. Kenyon?"
Unlike the two posts I link to, I can't recall any particular anecdotes or inspiration she gave me, except for the time she called me to the blackboard for a spelling quiz. My memory is likely wrong, but I'm thinking I thought I was hot stuff then, smart, reading ahead of classmates. But the blackboard exercise somehow revealed my shortcomings in spelling, something I needed.
Anyhow, she ended up with a school named after her.