Student Nomination Story

Black bulky tables replaced the typical tan desks, and handwritten letters filled the whiteboard. As the sunlight filtered through the windows, I saw Mr. Drenzek’s bright smile fill the room. Mr. Drenzek—a recognized science teacher at Arrowhead for his fun personality. I have always stolen a glance as he passed by in the hallways, yet never took a chance to get to know him. I did not have him as a teacher yet. His black glasses set him apart along with his quirky personality. Little did I know a teacher could make AP Biology my favorite class. It astonished me how I associated myself with other students in the classroom and Mr. Drenzek himself with ease. We started every day of class with a hilarious science-related meme on the Smart Board. Mr. Drenzek’s dedication to making people in the classroom laugh and have fun was his main priority in my mind. Pun after pun, his chuckles create an echo followed by a wave of other snickers in the room. I recall one day he said, “It is as if my second job is a comedian. I get paid to have an audience to listen to my jokes while I teach.” I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard that Mr. Drenzek became a comedian on the side in the near future. Despite the difficulty of advanced placement biology geared towards college students, I tackled the class pretty effectively due to Mr. Drenzek’s teaching. I am grateful that he was more than willing to sit aside with me and work through troubles that I had an understanding. Likewise, he arranged the lessons in an order that would flow easily based on complexity; this aided every student in this class. Games and videos went side-by-side with the topics we covered in class which encouraged me to continue my passion for biology. Thanks to him, biology is now my favorite subject as well as my potential major in college. Besides being a humorous, understanding teacher, Mr. Drenzek shared his life with me and I got to know him a more personal level. Chemistry experiments involved his wife’s teas, family’s potatoes, and kid’s fishes. What he had at home was what he brought to school to contribute to building our knowledge. My most memorable experiment included taking home goldfish to keep as a pet. Out of Mr. Drenzek’s generosity, students were allowed to keep fish originally used for a school project—I have never been more excited about a project before. More noteworthy, I have never been more grateful to have a wonderful teacher for a science class in my junior year. I will continue along the science pathway with the pleasant memories held in the class and hope to never forget Mr. Drenzek: the one who inspired me to keep on enjoying science as if it is my life.

Ashley Knicker

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