Student Nomination Story

The first day of eighth grade, he walked into my third period and I was intimidated. I’d seen him in my previous years at North Shore Middle School, but I never talked to him. “I’m Mr. Muehls and I will help answer any questions you have in this class.” His low voice and stone face, had me on my toes. Later in the day, I found him again as my study hall teacher. Mr. Muehls surprised me. I always spotted him when he was taking care of the troublemakers, and didn’t know him for who he was. He would catch me not doing what I should have been (which was more than often). We got to know each other well. He began to understand how I operated and knew the right ways to help—and with other students as well. Mr. Muehls created a welcoming environment. His classroom was filled with posters, board games, and even food—not like any other classroom. In his study hall, we got to choose where to sit and I sat next to three of my close friends. He kept me on track with the reward of being able to make Ramen noodles and hot chocolate (even though they were meant for his chess club). He always was interested in what his students were working on and what was going on in their lives, to which made me feel comfortable. I always went to him with help and questions about school or other things in my life, knowing he would give the best advice. One of my favorite memories was when my friend and I spent our study hall chatting with him. That's when I began to appreciate him. He told us stories about experiences he’s gone through and reason to his life. He told us things about him, I never would have known. His wiseful and contagious attitude taught me to never give up. Another memory was the day before winter break, he rewarded my class for working hard all week and let our class watch White Chicks. He definitely thought we were wild, but I knew he liked to hear about the things we liked to do. Mr. Muehls is not only a great teacher, but he is also a father, veteran, and chess club advisor. As my school year was coming to an end, Mr. Muehls missed school days. Not knowing what was going on, my math teacher announced to our class that he had cancer. I knew from the pit of my stomach, he was going to beat it. Since he did so much for not just me, but everyone else, our classes wrote him get well cards. Although doing that showed appreciation for him, it wasn’t enough and never will be because he was the person who kept me going. Mr. Muehls had a passion to make an impact on everyone. He not only helped in school, but helped us through life. So thank you Mr. Muehls, for impacting not just me but others.

Rachel Gebhard

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