Which teacher influenced the way you learned for the better? Share your stories. (Astrid Riecken)

At Pinewood Elementary School in Elkhart, Ind., there was a teacher, Louanne Nommay, whose classroom was decorated around the theme ”How Sweet it Is.” Everything was candy-themed, down to the bathroom passes she painted to look like Hershey’s chocolate bars.

You have to understand: Everyone wanted to be in that classroom, because it was special, because it was something so different from the boring, primary-color scheme of every other classroom. So when I got that classroom assignment at age 12, it was like winning the lottery. In her own, creative way, Mrs. Nommay helped us all learn without us really realizing that school was, at times, totally boring.

For me, it’s a sweet memory 14 years later.

I remember Mrs. Nommay because it’s Teacher Appreciation Day. On Twitter, after Deborah Stearns earned the prestigious title of 2010 Maryland Professor of the Year, we asked you to share stories of a standout college professor who touched your life. The comments that followed were overwhelmingly positive. (And, by the way, the 2011 National Teacher of the Year also hails from Maryland.) We’d like to read your stories about a standout teacher who influenced the way you learned. Who is your Mrs. Nommay?

Tweet Use #standoutteachers to share your stories with us on Twitter and we’ll post some of the replies back here.

Mara Corey from Irondale High School in MN was the best teacher I have ever had. She had such passion and brilliance! #standoutteachersless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyNate Siems

#standoutteachers Mrs Arlene Cook Kindergarten

Mrs Cook told me to never be ashamed of my intelligence.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyDove

#standoutteachers Esther McConnon, 2nd grade. Studying ocean. She brought in crabs, a lobster, scallops. Cafeteria cooked & we kids ate.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyJan

Steve Snow, Rob Thomas ( @Slaverat1 ) and Larry Greis - The only teacher you should listen to are your English teachers. #standoutteachersless than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet ReplyJenn Dolari

One of my favorite (and most influential) #standoutteachers was Mrs. Kimbro, who taught me to keep a daily journal. And told me to write.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyRaima Larter

In the meantime, check out a 2011 Teacher Appreciation Day message from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose open letter to teachers today hasn’t been entirely well-received: