Student Nomination Story

As a student, I have always strove for the best. I have always tried to be involved in as much as I can, both inside and outside of school. Honors classes, many extracurriculars, volunteer work... you know, the works. So, when it came time for high school, to put it frankly-- I was terrified of burning out. My freshman year was about to start, just after my school had dealt with a summer full of quarantine, minimal social interaction, and the underlying (and horrifying) possibilities of 'what it?' plaguing our minds. Partially due to isolation, but also due to the nature of myself, I was challenged with extreme anxieties almost all day every day; I was one of the lucky few that schooling came natural to. Nonetheless, I was truly petrified of the changes in structure, student expectation, and upcoming workload. It was a lot. Nearly too much for a fourteen year old to start carrying, after enduring the terrors and uncertainties of global pandemic, at such a young age. Maybe it would have been, if not for Mme Simonson. She was, and continues to be, a true beacon of light in such uncertain times. Throughout my freshman year (2020-2021) there was so much uncertainty. No one really knew how to interact with one another, after a year of isolation. But, Mme Simonson persisted. Teaching a bunch of fourteen year olds a foreign language- that they don't really grasp that well- is likely difficult at the best of times, let alone behind a mask. 9/10 students were on phones, computers, or whispering back and forth. But, Mme Simonson has always showed up for that glorious 10 percent: And we, continue to thrive. Mme Simonson does not hesitate to help any student in any way, all they need to do is ask-- whether that be in the classroom, after school, or through a random 2AM email. Her fun classroom techniques, verb conjugation songs, random little stories about her dogs, even her *little* Eiffel Tour obsession, make the work we do together feel like a breeze. Never once in my two years of study, have I seen her passion for students, nor for language, waver. Likewise, I have never questioned if she was about to lose her patience, nor have I seen her hope dim. Mme Simonson is truly 'one of the good ones'. As a student, I can confidently say that we learn best by example; character being no exception. Being around Mme Simonson has made myself, alongside my peers, better people. More compassionate. More intelligent. More well rounded. More confidant. More culturally aware. When a teacher can simultaneously teach you a language, and how to be a better human, that's how you know you've hit the jackpot. Et voilà, Mme Simonson.

Madilyn Greene

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