Oprah and her fourth grade teacher

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A Visit from My Fourth-Grade Teacher (1989)
One of the defining moments of my life came in fourth grade—the year I was a student in Mrs. Duncan's class at Wharton Elementary School in Nashville. For the first time, I wasn't afraid to be smart, and she often stayed after school to work with me. I thought I would one day become a fourth-grade teacher.

Sixteen years ago, my producers surprised me by bringing in Mrs. Duncan as a guest on the show. I hadn't seen her since grade school, and suddenly, I'm reading the teleprompter: "Welcome, Mary Duncan."

My eyes filled with tears, and I said, "Mrs. Duncan had a name! Her name is Mary." As a child, I hadn't even considered that Mrs. Duncan might have had a life beyond our class. It was in her class that I really came into myself. After all these years, I could say thank you to a woman who had a powerful impact on my early life.