My high school music teacher at Hollywood High Jerry Grant had a positive influence in my life. He made our harmony classes fun by relating classical music harmony and theory to current day pop music.
I remember bringing him some of my pop songs I had written as a teenager and how positive and encouraging he was, complimenting me on my sense of melodic structure. When I look back on those songs I realize they were not that great. I was just starting out, but he still found something in my writing to compliment me on. I respected his opinion as a jazz and film/tv composer so to hear his compliments about my songs was a big deal to me at 17 years old.
After I graduated high school I took some private composition lessons from Mr. Grant which helped me a lot in understanding composition, melodic and harmonic structure.
Teachers can have a positive or negative influence on a young person's life. I feel blessed and grateful that Mr. Grant was my high school music teacher.
Here are the links to his Wikipedia page and website.