Student Nomination Story

Knowledgeable, selfless, and engaged describe my math teacher junior year. He helped me achieve my dream of going to Loyola University Chicago. Mr Martin was a hero in disguise. He helped his students master mathematics and create joy at the same time − which is difficult for 90% of other teachers. Mr. Martin, a teacher and father, has a unique appearance. Mr. Martin is most identifiable by his goofy personality and 6’5’’ height. Mr. Martin’s sense of humor is as foolish as a barrel of monkeys. Instead of being intimidated the first day of class, Mr. Martin treated everyone with respect and displayed his personality. In class, we play review games that mix his intelligence with his goofiness. During my time at Arrowhead High School, my most meaningful moments have happened with my favorite teacher, Mr. Martin. One day in class I asked, “How would I go about solving for x in this situation?” We were discussing factoring. After hearing my question and quickly glancing over (I could tell he was formulating an answer), Mr. Martin came up to my table and got engaged in the problem. He gave me the most complex answer that made no sense, but I didn't care. I saw how engaged he was and how dedicated he was to helping me. He clearly understood the material I didn’t. I then interpreted what he said on my calculator and finished that project with a 92%. We talk about March Madness, NBA basketball and crack jokes when he works the scoreboard at basketball games. My friends and I go to varsity basketball games and Mr. Martin welcomes us. The way he always greets us with the “Hey guys, thanks for coming!” makes my friends and me feel like our decision to go to the game was more than worth it. This makes me feel welcomed and cared about. Mr. Martin helped me improve my math skills, communication skills, and my sense of humor. Because of his kind personality and teachings, I became knowledgeable, selfless, and engaged. I can’t say this about any other teacher I have had. Because of him, I feel prepared for college and what is to come.

Alex van de Werken

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.