Student Nomination Story

Phospholipids. An essential part of the cell membrane, which consists of a phospholipid bilayer, to be exact. A phospholipid has two parts: a fatty acid tail that is hydrophilic, and a phosphate head that is hydrophobic. This is important for regulating what enters and leaves our cells, and allows the phospholipid tails to move between being upright, downward, or sideways. Mr. Drenzek is known for often saying “phospholipid tails up!” while flashing a peace sign as he passes AP Bio alumni in the halls. Even though this quirky gang sign that the alma mater of AP Bio pass on to future generations is rooted in both biology and entertainment, it means much more. Mr. Drenzek is one of the most knowledgeable teachers I have ever met. Both in Chem for Health and AP Bio, whenever I ask him a question he always has an answer. I don’t mean a simple, curt response. I mean a lengthy, in-depth response that fully answers my question and allows me to grasp the concept in its entirety. But being even more than just a teacher, Mr. Drenzek is the king of puns. He can take the most bland biological topic, and liven it up with some sort of quirky quip that wakes you up and engages you to want to learn more. His puns never fail to make me laugh and give me something to think about. But Mr. Drenzek isn’t just focused on drilling AP practice questions into his students, or having them memorize every single step of the Krebs and Calvin cycles. He cares about each and every one of his students and wants them to succeed. Whenever I would ask him for help, or even if I looked confused, he would take the time to explain the concept and make sure I understood it. He even let me come in prior to exams to go over all my old tests and ask him questions about the material, which I appreciated greatly. Even though AP Bio was by far the most challenging class that I took in high school, it was also my favorite. I learned material that will be invaluable in my future career in healthcare, and I now understand the importance of having a good work ethic. Mr. Drenzek taught me that nothing is impossible if you want it badly enough. He encouraged me to work hard for my grades, and for that I am thankful. So, whenever I face challenges in my life today, I simply smile to myself and remember to always “keep my phospholipid tails up.”

Lauren Edwards

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