My name is Luciana Tysinger. I am a sixth grader at Saint Athanasius, and a teacher who has influenced me in too many ways to count is Mrs. Johnson. She is more commonly known at Saint Athanasius as “Mrs. S”, and she is the most amazing teacher in the world. I have always loved school, but with Mrs. S, everything is so much more fun and exciting–she asked us to read Greek myths and then we would act them out. If we had a tricky unit during a vocabulary workshop class, we would create skits to help us cement the words. We learned about Pandora’s box and created our own boxes of things we want to bring into the world. Nothing is ever boring when Mrs. S is teaching it, and Mrs. S always seems genuinely happy to see us each and every day.
Since the very first class I had with her, Mrs. S became my favorite teacher, but it was the middle of the school year when I realized what a truly spectacular teacher she is and how far above and beyond she goes for her students. Mrs. S is always encouraging us to read. On the last day of winter break, I was telling my mom how much I wished our school had a book club and my mom suggested that I start one. The first person I thought of asking to help me was Mrs. S. I emailed her and asked her if she would be interested in helping me start a Saint Athanasius book club for grades 5-8. She replied almost immediately and said that it was a great idea and she would be happy to discuss how we could get things started. A few days later, the details had been solidified and we had a date for our first meeting of people who might be interested in the book club. There were very few people interested–and by very few I mean me, Mrs. S, and one of my best friends. I was disappointed and thought maybe the book club idea wouldn’t work out, but Mrs. S wouldn’t let me give up. She convinced me to stick with it, and she assured me that more people would join. She was right! More and more people joined and our club kept growing! Mrs. S inspired me to believe in myself. I haven’t always had confidence in myself, but, because Mrs. S believed in me and because she believed in the club, I started to believe the club would grow and I started to believe in myself. That wasn't all Mrs. S has done for me this year. Recently, when I was having some problems with a friend, I asked Mrs. S to help me because I didn’t know what else to do. Mrs. S asked me about what had been going on and she said she would try and help. She didn’t just try to help, she did help. She helped me and my friend talk it out and that ended up being what saved our friendship.
Mrs. S is the most dedicated and inspiring teacher I have ever had the fortune of meeting. She goes above and beyond for all of her students and for our school. While she was helping me start our book club and sort out the problem with my friend, she was also teaching all of her classes; organizing our school’s talent show and our end of year “May Crowning” celebration; and she also has her hands full with a million more things. A huge reason sixth grade has been so spectacular for me is because of Mrs.S–she works to make her classes educational and fun; she embraced the idea of starting a new club; she helped me salvage one of my oldest friendships; and she taught me to believe in myself. Mrs. S is an all around fabulous teacher, and she deserves to win this award and know how amazing she is. I want her to understand, and be recognized for, the huge impact she has on all of her students' lives, especially mine. And, after being her student, I want to have the same impact on students that she has had on me–I want to be a teacher too!