Student Nomination Story

Ms. Steimer re-introduced me to my love of activism and writing. She created an amazing environment where students could learn and grow, adding as many breaks and fun parts as possible. One day, in SOARR (a free period at the end of the day where students can go to their classes and ask their teachers questions, organize their binders, do homework, and use the chromebooks), some kids were drawing sheep on whiteboards and putting them against the back wall. This became known as the Wall of Sheep, consisting of layers of mini whiteboards filled with drawings of sheep. Another fun thing she did in class was, if we had extra time, she would ask "candy questions". She would ask a question related to the lesson, and pick a name. If you were picked and answered right, you would get a Jolly Rancher or Hershey's Kiss. She would custom-print ACTUALLY FUNNY classroom materials, help anyone, etc. When the pandemic hit and schools closed, she found ways to bring light into our lives. The wall of sheep continued virtually. Classes were filled with activities and games. But she also encouraged activism. When we felt restricted by the video-only online-learning, she encouraged us to do something about it (it was forced by the county, not her). So, we made a petition, which at least made us able to have Zoom meetings with our teachers. She fought her way through a pandemic, climbed up a mountain of stupid county restrictions, and somehow gave hope to all of us.

Elia Baratz

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