Lancaster Co. native searches for long-lost teacher

Teachers can have lasting impacts.

Nearly 30 years ago, Michelle Eichinger was in a special education kindergarten for delayed social and language skills at a school in Lancaster County's Manheim Township School District.

The 36-year-old now has two master's degrees and recently posted an essay on CNN's iReport hoping to contact her long-lost teacher who helped her so much.

Eichinger, from Mount Joy, now lives outside of Atlanta, Ga. and spoke with abc27 via Skype.

“He made a big impact. I just remember him really giving me that foundation,” Eichinger said.

That teacher's name, Eichinger said, is Neil Wenger.

Eichinger was placed in his class at Nitrauer Elementary School as part of Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13's program. The group, among other educational services, provides special education services to school districts.

To this day Eichinger can quickly recall the class, how it aided her and how her teacher with a passion for the profession never made her feel different.

“I don't remember myself being different, but I remember wondering why we were separated from everybody else, ” Eichinger said.

Later on she started to excel academically, which resulted in two master's degrees. Eichinger is considering going for her PhD.

Grateful for the teacher who helped put her on a track for success, she wanted to get in touch with Mr. Wenger.

She posted her CNN iReport, which can be seen here: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1076405.

So far, no luck. However, her story has over 12,000 hits, and the leads keep coming in.

“I want to go back and say, 'Hey you helped me!' If its just one student, you did a great job,” Eichinger said.

Think you know Mr. Wenger?

Contact Michelle at: meichinger@live.com

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