Student Nomination Story

I had an amazing middle school experience. My teachers were wonderful and I formed so many amazing relationships with them. I was excited to make the switch to High School, but I was also very nervous. Would I be able to make it through the harder classes and be successful? Are the teachers going to be as kind as the ones at the middle school? All of these fears were eliminated when I walked into room 309 after the third period bell on that first day of my freshman year, Ms. Captein was sitting at her desk shuffling papers when I came and took a seat . The bell rang and she walked to the center of the room. Her smile instantly put everyone at ease, and I knew after she told us stories about her "smiling problem" and her cow obsession that we would get along just fine! Throughout my freshman year, I think I spent more time in Ms. Captein's room than any other room in the school. Whether I was there to borrow a book to work on homework during a study hall, asking for extra help, or just having a conversation, Ms. Captein fulfilled every role you could ask of her. She is kind and compassionate when you are having a hard day, she is happy and smiley when you just want to talk, and she is a dedicated and knowledgeable instructor when it counts. I don't know any other teacher who is more willing to help her students and colleagues than Ms. Captein. She always stays after school for hours and comes in early to make sure her History department and her students have everything they need to be the best they can be. There is no other teacher I can think of that is as deserving of this recognition than Ms. Captein. She is dedicated, knowledgeable, and more importantly kind and caring. Her hard work for her students is something that many will never see, but she does it regardless of recognition. She truly cares, and is so deserving of recognition.

David Hulmes

It’s August 30, 2017. I am walking into Ms. Captein’s sixth period history class for the first time as a scared little freshman who had no idea what the future would hold for her. I remember sitting down and looking around at my new surroundings. High school was a scary transition! The second bell had rung and the teacher who was greeting students at the door had finally come in to introduce herself. I remember thinking to myself “Wow this lady smiles a lot!”. She went on to tell us a little bit about herself and we soon found out that she had a “smiling problem”. As the bell had rung again to go to my seventh period class, I left her classroom that day not thinking that one day she was going to change my life. Up until November I spoke a lot in class. I began to grow more and more quiet as time went on. Finally, one day, I had been called down to the guidance office. I was genuinely surprised because I had never been to guidance in my life and was still trying to adjust and learn who everyone was in school. My guidance counselor had told me that Ms. Captein had noticed a change in me and that she wanted to make sure everything was okay. At first, I was very upset with her. I couldn’t believe she had sent me down to guidance just because I wasn’t talking as much as I used to in her class. Now, I realize that I shouldn’t have been so upset. This was the first time in my life that someone had noticed a change, even though it was a small one, and had cared enough to take matters into their own hands. I have never met anyone more willing to arrive to school earlier and leave later than any of their colleagues so that they can grade work, improve their classes, and be a positive role model for students like me. Ms. Captein is loved by all due to her compassion and the care she shows to everyone. I guess you could describe her as everyone’s personal cheerleader. No matter who it is, she’s always pushing them to their fullest potential and only wants the best for them. She has made everyone that has walked through her classroom door feel special in their own way. In actuality though, Ms. Captein is the special one. She is a bright spot in Belchertown High School and I’m beyond grateful to be in her presence and have her as my role model. I could write pages and pages about what Ms. Captein means to me, but we’d be here for a long time. Overall, I want Ms. Captein to know that she’s hardworking, intelligent, supportive, and most importantly herself. As someone once said, “ Sometimes, it only takes one person to change your life. One to be there for you, to push you, to believe in you. It only takes one.” I can wholeheartedly say that Ms. Captein has changed my life for not only the better, but forever.

Alexa Ribeiro

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