Student Nomination Story

As an elementary student, and confidently speaking on behalf of my peers, we are inspired by our first-grade teacher, Mrs. Lynne Karnes. She has a magical way of making learning meaningful and fun. She makes, not only me, but every student in her class believe they can accomplish any dream if they work hard enough. She creates memories that encourages us to be the best version of ourselves. Mrs. Karnes is responsible for more than just academic enrichment. She is a great educator, who connects with her students and reaches them on multiple levels. She is committed to her students’ well-being both inside and outside the classroom. By forging strong relationships, she is able to affect virtually every aspect of her students’ lives, teaching them the important life lessons that helps them succeed beyond standardized tests. Mrs. Karnes makes learning fun, she is stimulating, creates engaging lessons that are pivotal to her student’s academic success. She makes her classroom an exciting environment for learning that holds the students’ fascination, her students learn best because they are both challenged and interested. Mrs. Karnes knows that inspiring students is integral to ensuring their success and encourages them to fulfill their potential. This kind of inspiration she gives her students results in them accomplishing amazing things, and that motivation always stays with them. Mrs. Karnes places a high importance on relationships, in terms of classroom management, learning, and overall well being in the classroom. Her students develop a special bond with her. She spends time to connect with students right away. It’s the simple things she does, like greeting them at the door, or asking them to share stories before starting a lesson. Mrs. Karnes teaches her students about love, understanding, how to be good people, how to play, how to deal with emotions, and how to regulate themselves before she teaches them the curriculum. She knows that the content and the learning is certainly important, but not more important than her student’s social and emotional well being. Mrs. Karnes can find the diamond in the rough, a child who looks a little different, thinks a little different, is a little more troublesome and find their strength, she can change that student and the entire class’ perception of success. When she can find the positive and their “different” and point it out and celebrate it, she not only makes a difference for that child, she encourage all of her students to be more innovative and to think and be a little different. Overall Mrs. Karnes enthusiasm is infectious. From the first day of class, she was always smiling and had boundless energy. She was no taskmaster, and there was no tough love, just excitement about what she could teach us. But it never felt like she was teaching, it was as if she wanted to share this really cool thing with you; it was effortless. She seemed to have an innate ability to find out what kind of push you needed to make you feel something.

Madelyn Nienaber

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