In his Nov. 18 Sunday Opinion column, “The wrong person to fight for,” Dana Milbank joined the chorus of those calling U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice unqualified to be secretary of state.

I was privileged to teach Ms. Rice in two high school history courses at the National Cathedral School in Washington. She excelled in both courses. As a ninth-grader, Ms. Rice was already a writer of superb essays. I taught her again in a difficult AP course when she was a junior. Her performance was again excellent.

Regarding her social skills, Ms. Rice had the ability to get along well with everyone — students and faculty alike.  I saw no “sharp elbows” whatsoever.  In a very demanding school, she was laid-back and funny but also focused and hard-working. She was confident but not cocky, and she never took herself too seriously.

The entire upper-school student body and faculty chose her to be head of school government — a great honor and a demanding post. She exhibited superior leadership skills in the role and left behind a remarkable legacy. The school still uses the revised honor code system she devised. 

Ms. Rice was already a remarkable person and leader even then, long before her accomplishments at Stanford, her Rhodes scholarship and her doctoral work at Oxford. She was one of the most outstanding students I encountered in my 40-year teaching career.

John Wood, Washington