Definitions: (1) a person held in the highest regard because they possess value(s); (2) having a favorable opinion of; prized

Derivation: Latin, “to estimate, to seek, to value”

Synonyms: acme, appreciated, respected, revered

Quote: When you are older you will understand how precious little things, seemingly of no value in themselves, can be loved and prized above all price when they convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart. — Edwin Thomas Booth (1833–1893) American actor

Comment: An ‘esteemed colleague’ can mean a work mate, a comrade, a boss, etc. but if it also means someone you truly respect, then they have risen to the level of one who can be trusted – a person you will allow to mold your ideas and, by extension, your ideals