Student Nomination Story

Mike Rock is a counselor for students with learning disabilities or other struggles in their studies. For example, I have ADHD, and I get this class to get extra support with my schoolwork. Since the very beginning, Mr. Rock has gone above and beyond to help students in his class. Every class, he stands outside his door and greets each student personally, and asks how their day has been going, and tells them how happy he is that they are doing well, or that they are there that day. And always with a bright smile and kind voice, too. He is beyond patient, always remaining calm and kind even through the multitude of meltdowns and anger-outbursts that students have thrown at him because of their frustrations. He is deeply concerned with the wellbeing of his students. He remembers things that they say, be it a concert they are excited to go to, or that they have a loved one struggling. He doesn't just stop at helping his students with their schoolwork. He is a teacher as much as he is a trusted friend. He talks with us about struggles we have and shows interest in the things we enjoy. One particular action stands out. On Friday, November 4th, there was a threat for severe weather in our area. School let out early, and as I was walking to leave the building, I caught Mr. Rock. He greeted me with a warm "Hello Gia!" (My nickname) and a smile. We were making small talk as we left, and I was talking about how my dad was picking me up, since I didn't drive to school because my dad didn't want me driving in the heavy rain. I complained about how despite my dad telling me that morning to bring an umbrella, I didn't, and it was raining in sheets. As I was about to go out into the rain, he pulls out his umbrella and tells me he is going to walk me out to my dad. The umbrella is only big enough for one person, so I refused, saying "thank you so much! But you don't have to do that. He is parked kind of far away!". He insisted, so I let him (I really didn't want to get soaked in the rain anyway. It was cold and windy. The entire way to my dad's car, he held the umbrella over me while he got rained on. Out of his way, and in the pouring rain, he still made sure I got to my dad's car safe and dry. When I got to the car, Mr. Rock told me to be safe, and I told him the same. My dad drove off. Mr. Rock's car was in the opposite direction that I needed to go. This isn't the only time that Mr. Rock has gone out of his way to be kind and considerate. He regularly supplies his classroom with students' favorite candies, mints, and even fidget toys. All on his own, and without being asked. One time, he was gifted a box of expensive chocolate from the Ukraine from a friend. He took the box of chocolate and shared it with us. (It is a very small class. There's only about 10 students). Teachers like Mr. Rock are few and far between. He brightens our days and is someone we can always count on to have a kind word to say, or just a positive, friendly attitude. He is truly an amazing teacher (He has single handedly raised student's grades with his tutoring, support, and encouragement), and an admirable and good person. I know he deserves to be recognized.

Gloria Embach

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