Student Nomination Story

Mr. Wagner, my eighth-grade science teacher, impacted me. Mr. Wagner was a short middle-aged man who wore earthy colors because he loved nature. He inspired students to be who we are and no one else. He emphasized that we should vote when you have the chance because everyone has a voice and it deserves to be heard. Mr. Wagner was a guiding, respectful and talented teacher. He separated himself from other teachers by listening to students. He would take feedback on activities and he understood we also have homework in other classes. Some classes we took the whole time to listen to Mr. Wagner’s intriguing stories. Those days were the best. He talked to us as if we were all friends. His stories had some lesson we could take with us outside the classroom. I will never forget one day in class the entire grade had to do a standardized state science test. We dreaded this day because we knew we would miss out on one of the songs Mr. Wagner plays on his record player before class. As the students walked into the classroom, Mr. Wagner sensed the pain and agony we possessed. Once everyone was seated, Mr. Wagner stood up and gazed upon us. He continued and handed out a test to each student. Not yet saying a word he gazed upon us again. His eyes were as determined as a lion hunting for its food. Suddenly in a loud voice, he started talking. Unlike other teachers who would tell us about the test, he instead gave us motivation. I will never forget what he said: “I am aware you do not want to take this test because it does not help you at all, that said, you will do everything in your power to push through the pain of this test and you will try your hardest. This is your chance to show what you can do, this is your chance to show off your knowledge, good luck.” This stuck with me because it changed the way I look at tests. I do not look at them as a painful 40 minutes the teachers create to strain your mind. Now I look at tests as an opportunity to show off my knowledge. The lessons he taught could be taught somewhere else, the fact that he taught them in class showed that they were valuable. I would like to vote for Mr. Wagner for this award because, while the award may not mean too much, the impact he had on me was substantial.

Trace Morrissey

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