Student Nomination Story

Ever since I first had Mr. Mahoney in the 10th grade, I have seen Mr. Mahoney combine his passion for history and his sense of humor to teach his students in an effective and impactful way. There was never a day that I was bored in his classes or wished I was not there. He thoroughly explained notes and incorporated movies, music, fun dances, and even tempura art, to help students in his class understand an aspect of a culture in a historical time period. He made his classes engaging, and made sure no voice went unheard. Every year that I have had him (sophomore and junior year), our class would often engage in deep conversations about the world around us and the climate we live in. On several different occasions, Mr. Mahoney emphasized to our class that we should be sensitive and open-minded when discussing things that happened in our city, such as overdoses and deaths. He said that we never know who in the class may be affected. These conversations made us understand that his classroom was a safe environment. And, it was exactly that for me. When I lost a close friend of mine last February to murder, I instantly remembered about what Mr. Mahoney said in regards to sensitivity and being aware of our community and our peers. It seemed like in every hall and class I was in that day, that’s all anybody was talking about. And, they were saying things I did not want to hear. You can imagine how grateful I was that at least in Mr. Mahoney’s class, nobody was talking about it (even if we were taking a test that day!). Before going to lunch that day, he offered me his classroom as a place to just let my emotions out and also to just take a short break from everyone. Even if it was just for that short time that I did not hear anything, it was something that was needed that day. He offered it without me even asking. I think that’s a clear indicator of Mr.Mahoney’s overall character. He puts in the effort to understand his students and he understands that we go through things, sometimes even more than adults do. He does his best to support his students in whatever way he can. He is highly supportive of my work and my aspirations and continues to support all of his students. Mr.Mahoney was not just there when we needed him. Literally since the first week of my junior year, though there were many assignments, I remember thinking and telling my friends, that my AP European History class was the “peace in my day”. It was a class where I could just focus on the work and truly enjoy the class. I looked forward to that class every single day. Even this year, I still talk to my friends about how while that class was in no way relaxing (not that it should be), it was peaceful and made my school days a lot better. Mr. Mahoney believed in my abilities even when I doubted myself. I wholeheartedly think it was his encouragement and support that helped me qualify on the AP exam. Mr. Mahoney really helped further my love for history. In fact, because of him, I am considering going into college with my major declared as history. In my sophomore year, Mr. Mahoney kept saying he thought I would be a good politician. Last year, he stated that I would be a great professor and that I remind him of one of his (from sociology class, I think). But, after being a student of Mr. Mahoney’s for two years, although I have other dreams for my future profession, I also have dreams of becoming a teacher. Specifically, a high school history teacher.

Sumaiyea Uddin

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