25 of the most memorable TV teachers

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Sue Sylvester – Glee

Not every teacher can be uplifting, supportive or encouraging. Some can be degrading, insulting and destructive, as in the case of Sue Sylvester. As the head coach for the school’s most popular and powerful club, the Cheerios, she is dangerous with power.

Up to the fourth season, there isn’t much to redeem Sue as an educator — or as a human, for that matter. She is a ruthless bully to students, parents and faculty alike, and believes herself to have unlimited power. She’s an apologetic villain, and her scheming and plotting provide the conflict and tension throughout the series. In short, she was the best part of that show, hands down.

In the later seasons of the show’s run, she becomes the school’s principal by faking a scandal and getting the sitting administrator fired. In a further scathing insult, he is demoted to janitor, forced to watch as Sue runs the school with the same sort of unabashed entitlement we expect from her.

It takes a series of confrontations from students and exclusion from a wedding to make Sue come around. In a bizarre twist of karma, she is elected Vice Principal of America and offers her previous high school’s auditorium as a memorial to a student she was not very nice to when he was alive.  Everybody mostly comes around to Sue by the end of the series, but we’ll never forget the hell she put all her students through.

Watch Sue’s reign of torment from beginning to end on Netflix or Hulu.