Lancaster native finds long-lost teacher

After abc27 aired its report, Lancaster County native Michelle Eichinger got in touch with her long-lost kindergarten teacher.

Last week Neill Wenger, who is still living in Lancaster County, sent Eichinger an email. The man she credits with teaching her how to write has been exchanging messages with him ever since.

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

“I couldn't even express enough how excited I am and how enthused I am to have finally found him,” Eichinger said.

Wenger spoke with abc27 and said 30 years later he remembers Eichinger and her class. He even saved some of her writing and drawings. Turns out, the class and all the information on Wenger's teaching and students' progress ended up in with his and colleagues' research papers on academic strategies. Wenger has a PhD from the University of Delaware.

“It's kind of neat to reconnect after such a long time,” Wenger said.

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.

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.

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

Later on she started to excel academically, and she is considering going for her PhD.

She is now happy to say thank you.

“He was more than a teacher, and he was doing more than teaching me to read and write. He was actually trying to get me to become comfortable with my own self. He taught me to break through my own barrier,” Eichenger said.

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