National Teaching Award Nominee
Arrowhead Union High School, Hartland, Wisconsin
Student Nomination Story
10th grade English class at Arrowhead High School. I had Mrs. Elmergreen. Her smiling face gave me a warm welcome as I walked into class each day. Even on the worst of days, she still wore her million-dollar smile that brightened up my day. A ray of hope when I was feeling hopeless—that’s who Mrs. Elmergreen is. Short hair, forensics coach—upbeat and outgoing. A mother to all her students—welcoming eyes and an open heart. Always there when you need a friend—an angel in disguise, hiding in plain sight. No matter what was wrong I could always go to her—a younger adult with wisdom beyond her age and time. Mrs. Elmergreen is my friend. I consider her family and that is why I believe she should be nominated for this award. She was never quick to judge and she listened to my sorrows. When I thought my family was falling apart again, there she was, ready to save the day. I came to class, tears running down my face. I could hardly speak. She took my hand and calmly asked me, “Kim, is everything okay?” The concern in her voice was ever so present on her face as well. I shook my head and she nodded. She took me in her arms and we talked for a minute. My words were hardly audible from in between the sobs that escaped my lips. All she did was listen to my troubles and when I was done she assured me that “everything would turn out okay.” I thought my life was falling apart. But she picked up my broken pieces; she rebuilt my life with a simple phrase that I’ve heard a million times before. A phrase that lost its meaning from overuse, but when Mrs. Elmergreen said it, I knew she was right. I was going to be okay. That is was not the end of the world. That whatever was wrong would turn out okay in the long run. I am grateful for Mrs. Elmergreen. I am grateful that I had her in my life. I am grateful that the world has people like Mrs. Elmergreen. My 10th grade English class, taught by a ray of hope.
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