17 Celebs Who Reunited With Their Teachers And Made Us Ugly Cry

*Gets tissue box ready before reading this*

National Teacher Appreciation Month may not be until May, but it’s never too early to celebrate our gratitude for teachers!

Apple Music / Via giphy.com

Because educators can never be honored enough for their dedicated work!

Here’s some heartfelt content for the day that shows how important teachers are: these 17 celebs reunited with the teachers who made a huge impact on their lives, and it got many of them emotional.

MTV / Via giphy.com

Just a warning: you may also get a little teary-eyed from hearing these sweet stories.



ITV / Via youtube.com

At a November 2021 taping of the live concert, An Audience with Adele, Adele said her childhood English teacher, Ms. McDonald, helped her gain an interest in literature and dance. 

“It was just one year, but she got me really into literature,” Adele said. “But she also did street dance — I was too scared to join — but in the canteen they used to do these dances… She was so bloody cool. So engaging. She really made us care and we knew she cared about us.”

To Adele’s surprise, Ms. McDonald was in attendance, and she greeted the singer on stage and told her how proud she is of her for her accomplishments.


Lin-Manuel Miranda

CBS Mornings / Via youtube.com

During a 2019 interview with CBS This Morning, Lin got a surprise video message from his eighth-grade teacher, Dr. Rembert Herbert, who congratulated him on his success as Lin teared up while watching the video.

“Dr. Herbert’s the reason I’m sitting here talking to you,” Lin said. “I wrote a musical instead of doing my homework the first class in eighth grade. He said, ‘You could be good at this and you should stop hibernating in my class.’ … We had a student-written theater club at my high school and Rembert’s the one who nudged me in that direction, and he sort of changed my life forever with that.”


Oprah Winfrey

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In 1989, Mrs. Duncan, Oprah’s fourth-grade teacher, visited her at a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show for an episode that reunited guests with their favorite teachers.

“I ran home the first day of the fourth-grade to tell my dad that I had the best teacher that anybody could have,” Oprah said. “I wanted to be a fourth-grade teacher because of Mrs. Duncan. And I haven’t seen Mrs. Duncan since then, and Mrs. Duncan is here today.”

Mrs. Duncan then came out on stage to join the TV host, which led to some tears  being shed by Oprah.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

AOC had a Twitter reunion with her second-grade teacher, Ms. Jacobs, after posting an excerpt from a poem by civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin E. Mays in August 2020. At the time, she was preparing for the Democratic National Convention.

“Remember all those poems we recited together in 2nd grade? It was prep for this moment. You’ve got this,” Ms. Jacobs tweeted to AOC, who responded by tweeting, “Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?! … Yes, I do remember the poems we recited in second grade! You prepared me perfectly for this moment. Thank you for teaching me, encouraging my growth, and believing in me as a child.”

Here’s the Twitter exchange:

“I only have a minute.
Sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Suffer, if I lose it.

Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.”

– Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
(and recited by Elijah Cummings) 💜 https://t.co/ul9CE7NriV

10:43 PM – 12 Aug 2020

@AOC / Via Twitter: @AOC

@mjacobs324 Ms. Jacobs! Is that you?! 😭

Yes, I do remember the poems we recited in second grade! You prepared me perfectly for this moment.

Thank you for teaching me, encouraging my growth, and believing in me as a child 💜

10:50 PM – 12 Aug 2020

@AOC / Via Twitter: @AOC


Kerry Washington

Handout / DNCC via Getty Images

At the Democratic National Convention in August 2020, Kerry mentioned how she memorized the preamble of the U.S. Constitution for a middle school assignment as she spoke about continuing the journey towards equality and quoted the preamble. Kerry’s eighth-grade teacher who assigned this task, Tiff Bluemle, was watching the DNC and tweeted about her joy in seeing Kerry’s career success and devoted activism.

“I nearly fell off the couch when @kerrywashington mentioned her 8th grade constitutional law class. I was her teacher. And so proud of her professional accomplishments and political advocacy,” Tiff wrote.

Kerry tweeted, “Thank you for watching!!!!! And thank you for inspiring me and sooo many other students!!!” in response.


Quinta Brunson

Jimmy Kimmel Live / Via youtube.com

Abbott Elementary star and creator Quinta Brunson named the series after Ms. Abbott, her real-life sixth-grade teacher. 

She was recently surprised with a virtual visit from Ms. Abbott when Quinta was a Jimmy Kimmel Live! guest in February 2022, causing both women to get emotional as they reunited.

“Quinta was an awesome student, very driven at that time,” Ms. Abbott said. “She grew out of her shell … One of the local newspapers did an article on us and they said, ‘We entered the classroom and we were met by the articulate Quinta Brunson.’ She’s amazing.”

Jimmy then surprised Ms. Abbott with a five-day trip for her and a guest to celebrate her upcoming retirement.


Tyrese Gibson

Access / Via youtube.com

Tyrese cited his high school music teacher, Reggie Andrews, as a mentor to him in an Access Hollywood interview from 2019. Since there were many days Tyrese didn’t have a quarter to pay for the bus ride to school, Reggie would drive him so Tyrese could make it to class and avoid walking through rough parts of his neighborhood.

“Thank you for being the father that I never had,” Tyrese said when asked what message he’d say to Reggie now.

Reggie then came out to surprise Tyrese, and the two embraced. Reggie described his memories of Tyrese being a “determined” young student.


Tony Hale

E! / Via youtube.com

Tony brought his former drama teacher, Tina, with him on the red carpet of the 2018 SAG Awards.

“He is wonderful. He was always very talented, so we knew that he would be somewhere like this for sure,” Tina said to E!.

“It’s because of [Tina] that I’ve had this path, and I’m very grateful to her,” Tony said.


Venus Williams

Lucy Walker / Via youtube.com

In 2017, Venus reunited with her first-grade teacher, Judy Vellegas, for The California Lottery’s #ThankATeacher campaign in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Month. Judy showed Venus her class photo saved from the 1986/1987 school year and said she always knew Venus would go far.

“The care that she takes with each student, … you can tell that there’s love in her heart,” Venus said of Judy.

Venus also gave Judy a framed tennis racket with a handwritten note as a present to remember the occasion. 


Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert / Via youtube.com

Stephen visited his favorite teacher from the fourth grade, Ms. Katsos (now known as Mrs. Keelin), in the same classroom she taught him in at Styles Point Elementary in South Carolina.

During their heartwarming chat, he called her his “teacher of teachers,” and she called him “one of the brightest students [she’s] ever taught.” 


Hugh Jackman

Mastercard / Via youtube.com

Hugh surprised his former acting teacher, Chris Edmund, in 2014 for a campaign with Mastercard. Chris was flown from Australia to New York City and was told the trip was for a masterclass for aspiring young actors. During the class, Hugh emerged to greet Chris and thank him for his influence on his path as an actor.

“I would never be here in my career without you and … the other teachers at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts,” Hugh said.

Hugh then said that, in partnership with Mastercard, the Chris Edmund Performing Arts Scholarship had been established to give aid to aspiring actors.


Muhammad Ali

Ralph Edwards Productions / Via youtube.com

Muhammad was surprised with a video message from his third-grade teacher, Mrs. Carter, in an archived interview clip from the series, This Is Your Life. 

Mrs. Carter became a director for the YWCA after teaching Muhammad, and thanked him for a $10,000 check he wrote to the nonprofit on top of visiting for an in-person YWCA event, where he gave a speech. After the video ended, Mrs. Carter went on the show in person and gave Muhammad an embrace.


J.J. Watt

Inside Edition / Via youtube.com

NFL player J.J. Watt visited his fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Keefe, in 2017 when she was nearing her retirement after 41 years of teaching, Inside Edition reported. J.J. also brought her new shoes and cake, and offered her a paid trip to Houston. Mrs. Keefe then told her fourth-grader students that J.J. is an example of what they can accomplish.

“Look where [J.J.] is now. You can do whatever you want to do,” Mrs. Keefe said to the class.


Prince Harry

Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images

The Telegraph reported in 2015 that Prince Harry encountered his former teacher, Vicki McBratney, while visiting New Zealand. 

“My goodness, I remember you. Long time no see,” Harry said.

Vicki previously spoke about how she was a supportive mentor for Harry, as she met him right after the death of his mother, Princess Diana.

“Every couple of weeks he’d come and knock on my door and we’d both go to the matron’s lounge and I’d make him a Milo or a hot chocolate and we’d sit and talk and he’d share letters from his mum,” Vicki told Stuff. 

At their reunion, Vicki also introduced Harry to her kids and husband, who stood alongside her.


Darren Aronofsky

left: Thomas Concordia / Getty Images for Supper Suite, right: Photo by Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Darren cast his seventh-grade teacher, Vera Fried, in two small roles in his 2014 film, Noah. His earliest ideas for the film emerged when Vera had students write a poem about peace for an assignment, and Darren wrote an adaptation of the Biblical tale.

“She inspired me in the seventh grade to become a writer,” Aronfosky said to Variety. “She said, ‘When you write your first book, dedicate it to me.’” 

Darren also included a dedication to Vera in his Noah book adaptation from the same year.


Ian Wright

ITV / Via youtube.com

Former soccer player and media personality Ian Wright was stunned to see his former teacher, Mr. Pigden, pay him a visit after he had previously thought Mr. Pidgen had passed away. This reunion inspired Adele’s recent meeting with Ms. McDonald.