Everything depends on good teachers. Everything.

I went to a very good high school. It had good teachers. I benefited very much from those teachers, though I did not use all the skills I learned there later. Mr Smart the music teacher was just one example. But I remember the other teachers who were dedicated, and very talented. My only frustration was that I wanted to be able to concentrate on just a few things. But today I can say going to a good school I think is very important.
I had lots of good examples around me of people that were motivated and hard working. Both students and teachers.

[Maybe good teachers can do only so much, but from what I saw, they can make a tremendous amount of difference.]

And later I saw this in yeshiva also. Going to a good school  is of utmost importance to be able to get anywhere.

I am not in yeshiva now, but I can say without having a great learning partner ,I would today not have been able to get anywhere in Gemara.

One trouble I did have was in recognizing what really is a good yeshiva. Shar Yashuv was and still is a Baal Teshuva Yeshiva. And I had trouble recognizing that Reb Naphtali Yeager and the other roshei yeshiva were really learning at the top level. So I admit sometimes you can find exceptions to the rule. Reputation is not everything.  Later, I was at the Mir with who was then the deepest thinker in the yeshiva world besides Rav Shach --Reb Shmuel Berenbaum And there I saw the reputation of being the top place was well deserved.