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Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with a Contest!

May 2, 2016 Marc Amigone 85 Comments
Category ACIS Community

Today marks the start of Teacher Appreciation Week! At ACIS, every week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but this week, the rest of the country is joining us by shining a spotlight on one of the world’s most vital professions. Teachers have played an instrumental role in shaping us and helping us realize the potential we all have to accomplish great things. No matter what day of the year, every day is a great day to thank the teachers who’ve shaped our lives.

All week long, we’re celebrating the impressive contributions, sacrifices, and commitment that teachers make for the betterment of their students and communities. To show our appreciation, we’re donating $500 to two projects listed on

Do you know a life-changing teacher? Show your appreciation! Nominate them by adding a comment to this blog with your teachers’ name or post a photo on Instagram with a caption paying tribute to your favorite teacher. Use the hashtag #aciscontest along with #teacherappreciationweek or any other tags to connote your gratitude! The 5 teachers honored with the most touching tributes (from the blog or Instagram) will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Don’t forget: tell us about a teacher that deserves your appreciation by leaving a comment with the teacher’s name in the comment section below or posting a photo on Instagram with #aciscontest!

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Marc Amigone

85 thoughts on “Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with a Contest!

  1. Mr. Smith, my senior year English teacher, got everyone excited about Medieval literature. Amazing! Through his passion and care he expanded our world. Thank you, Mr. Smith!

  2. Frau Belkonnen was the sweetest woman! She taught my German class (many of the same students each year) for 3 years in high school. She always made it fun to learn new phrases. I remember lots of games of bingo (most Fridays) with candy prizes. Always a hit!

  3. I’d like to thank my Geometry teacher, Ms. Gabor. She was very strict with me and always cited my poor performance in her class. She always pushed me to do better with my grades. Even she used to make me feel scared of her, I always had great respect and admiration for her. And when I reached college, Math was a piece of cake! I was top in class! #teacherappreciationweek #aciscontest

  4. My high school French teacher, Mme Davies was a huge influence on me. It was thanks to the French trip that she organized that I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug, and I haven’t stopped traveling since!

  5. Science was not my favorite subject. But my ‘zany’ eighth grade science teacher Mr. Roberts made it fun. He cultivated the perfect sort of within-class competition that made me want to excel. He fostered friendships in class that reached beyond our preexisting social groups. And he brought me out of my insecure teenage shell without my even realizing it was happening. It reminds me to appreciate how great of an impact teachers have on the growth and confidence of their students beyond just the subject matter they’re imparting. Thank you Mr. Roberts!

  6. Senora Barreto is my Spanish teacher who always works super hard to make sure everyone is excited to learn Spanish.

  7. I would like to thank my 8th grade teacher for laying the strong foundation to move on to high school.
    Thank you MsKristen Howe

  8. Frau Stuber not only teaches German and manages to make it seem easy to her students, but also was the most amazing ACIS trip chaperone ever! She managed to get us everywhere we needed to go on time and have fun doing it. She even made a scavenger hunt in Rothenburg, Germany for us! Thanks Frau Stuber!

  9. Leah Jerome, one of the chaperones on my recent Inca Trail by ACIS, and AP world history teacher, deserves to win this award. After countless hours of planning, she scheduled our trip to Peru with ease. She was the head of the group, organizing and fundraising money to help us pay for such an amazing experience through the Inca Trail. This trip through ACIS changed my life, and I must say it was due to her. When I fell, due to altitude sickness, she was the first person to help me get better. She took care of me as if she was my mother, even though she wasn’t feeling well herself. She is the most selfless person, and she always puts her students before herself. She has taught me to appreciate learning, appreciate the world around me, and to most importantly appreciate my education. Absolutely remarkable chaperone, teacher, mentor, and she is undoubtedly deserving of this award. Please reach out to me if you have any questions, I would love to see her win this award. She is truly the best!

  10. Mrs. Hacker from Oaks Christian is an amazing Art History teacher! She was an amazing tour guide and made our trip to Italy so enjoyable! She took time the time to make sure each parent and student had a ton of information before the trip. The kids were all super engaged when we landed in Italy! She’s an amazing teacher..

  11. My favorite teacher is my French teacher Mr. Joseph he inspire and motivates me he pushes me to do and be better he never let’s me give up. I can truly say he is the best teacher me or anyone will ever have and I know the people that has had him or have him feel the same way. He’s funny he’s always telling joke and I mean always but he’s cool.

  12. Leah Jerome, a teacher I have had for history numerous times and my chaperone of a recent ACIS trip to Peru, deserves this award more than anyone that I know. The Inca Trail was truly an experience of a lifetime and my trip would not have been possible without Leah Jerome. She is one of the most selfless and caring people I’ve met and can change my day around with just a simple conversation. Jerome spent many of hours planning my group’s trip to Peru to ensure that we, the students, had the best time. Even though she fell ill about halfway through the trip, Jerome did not let that stop her and continued to let the whole group take advantage of every opportunity despite her own ailments. When we all slowly fell ill, she made sure we had enough water and was always checking up on us. Furthermore, Jerome has inspired me in many ways through her own love for learning, educating and traveling. I cannot even imagine another person that in my eyes, is better for this award. Leah Jerome has changed my life not only as a student, but as a person as well and I could never thank her enough for all that she has taught me.

  13. My World Civilizations teacher Ms. Marcone has been such a wonderful teacher. From being my softball coach, to cheerleading coach, to leader of our acts trip next year, she has made it all an amazing experience. Her class has been one of the most interesting ones that I have ever taken too. She makes history so interesting with her vast knowledge of the subject. She has taught me so much this year, not only in the classroom, but on the field too. I think Ms. Marcone deserves this award for everything she has done this year. She’s great!

  14. Mrs. April Everitt absolutely ROCKED in Europe while enduring some serious stress during Spring Break, she led and encouraged our group of kids and brought them home safely and still gave them the trip of a lifetime!!! The Brussels attack happened while they were there and she kept such a cool head so that there was no panic from kids or adults. She was nonchalant as she could be under pressure and encouraged everyone to let parents know all was good and there was no need to worry. Thank you Mrs. Everitt!! 🙂

  15. My Italian teacher of two years, Signora Alfonsina Improta, is spectacular teacher and person who commands respect from everyone. She organized our school trip to Italy, where her teaching came in handy as the group communicated with locals. The Italian cultural influnece she presented to the class allowed us the opportunity to experience and understand a culture different from our own American one. Signora Improta is a caring, determined, and devoted woman who should be thanked for her dedication and devotion to her students’ learning.

  16. My British Lit teacher, Ms. Cooper is taking us on a trip to the UK and France this summer. She is moving out of the country also this summer to serve God overseas, but she is still so dedicated to our school and has worked so hard to make this trip possible! Ms. Cooper always has a positive and loving spirit that impacts the entire classroom. Her laugh is contagious and will be missed greatly next year. I cannot wait for our trip with ACIS this summer and our time we will be able to spend with Ms. Cooper before she leaves for Thailand. She deserves to be recognized for her countless hours of hard work and her loving spirtit!

  17. My AP European History, Sociology, and AP/US History teacher Mrs. Linda Goldsworthy, is one of the best teachers and one of the only ones I know that actually tries to help you understand what we are learning and encourages you to do better. She didn’t just teach us about history she had us experience history and she did it by involving us in activities and evolving her teaching to our learning styles. I wish to thank her for being the great teacher she is.

  18. Mrs. Ellery was my English teacher my freshman year and now again my senior year. She is the most energetic and caring educator I have ever had. From giggling class readings of Romeo and Juliet to debating whether she should wear Hamlet leggings the day of our test, there is never a dull moment in her classroom. She never makes a student feel anything but valuable to the conversation. She is taking us to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland this summer — and even her halfhearted threats if we eat fast food while there could not deter a single one of us!

  19. I would like to nominate my pre-calc teacher Chris White. Mr. White is the kindest soul I’ve ever met. Coming into a new high school just before junior year was difficult, but he was able to make the transition easier by lending a helping hand. Sometimes I go spend my lunch in his room with some of his other favorite students. This year my school went on a trip with ACIS to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. We had an amazing time. When in Belgium, I accidentally ate a peanut and needed to be taken to the hospital. Mr. White stood by my side the entire time and even held my hand when I had to get an IV. I am so thankful to have such a great role model in a teacher and I can’t wait to go to Europe again next year with Mr. White!

  20. Mr. DeFusco is an amazing Social Studies teacher. He is always very funny in class. Sometimes we will start talking about the election and everyone will talk about the candidates and other things and Mr. DeFusco always has something to say. I had so much fun on the Italy trip and wouldn’t have been as much fun without him. In class we also do so much fun stuff and I couldn’t think of a better teacher to do that with. We wouldn’t do any of the fun trips and activities we do without him. I wish I could have him every year!

  21. Ms. Wendy Way of Bethpage High School deserves this recognition over anyone else I know. She was the best student government advisor when I was student council Vice President in 11th grade and student council President in 12th grade. She has also given me the opportunity to figure out my passion for traveling. She has invited me to go to London, France, New Zealand, and Australia. On top of that, she’s taking me to Japan with her at the end of this June. Without her, I may never have traveled outside the tri-state area. Because of this, she changed my life and the view of the world, and that deserves the Teacher Appreciation Week recognition.

  22. Mr. Tim Hudenberg
    My son had him for AP History his Junior year. He went above and beyond for Grant. The two main things that were so wonderful were his recommendation for our son to attend Virginia Boys State. Grant was accepted and I am positive this was an important part of his college application. (He met half a dozen boys at his intended college that he knew from the program.) The second was his understanding of our son’t goal to attend The College of William & Mary, Mr. Hudenberg’s Alma mater. He wrote a wonderful recommendation but beyond that, encouraged our son for the past two years in school, Grant was able to take the ASIS trip this spring with Mr. Hudenberg and he will have memories for a lifetime. I appreciate a teacher who’s door is open, who greats kids in the hallway, by name., who’s classroom is an after school meeting place and who treats them as young adults with futures, not just kids. He prepares them in many ways to leave the High School nest. He also makes learning FUN.

  23. My French teacher, Madame Jergens, is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She has a passion not only for her students, but for French culture. She absolutely adores France and goes out of her way to educate her students on the wonder of French culture & language. She brings us authentic food to try, has “Geoculture” days where we focus about a francophone country, and we have projects enriching our education with focuses on speaking and cultural topics. Madame is a wonderful French teacher and she has inspired me to go on to further learn French in college. I will always appreciate her for instilling in me a love for learning, speaking, and exploring the French language and culture. Thank you Madame Jergens!

  24. I would like to nominate Ms. Cornatzer, who will be leading our group in the summer. She is an amazing teacher and i’ve never even been in a class of hers before, but being a leader of our travel group and a school club i’m involved in, I am able to see that she puts her heart and soul into what she does, and no matter what she is going through in her life, she is always there for her students, with a smile on her face and welcoming arms. Hands down she is one of my favorite teachers and I can say she has influenced my life in many ways. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher to guide us in our journey to a new country!!

  25. Ms. Mandarine served as my Mythology and Heroes in Literature teacher, but she became much more to me than that. Ms. Mandarine is someone who recognizes effot and applauds it. She believes in the good of every student, and goes out of her way to emphasize the genuinely positive characterisrics of each person. Ms. Mandarine teaches her courses in ways that are novel and fascinating, drawing out and interest for the subject from everyone who sits in her class. She does not judge anyone, but rather welcomes a variety of people to open up to her and get to know her on a personal level. She holds open-door Scrabble games after school, with pizza, for anyone who wishes to hang out. She has single-handedly brought together a strong group of friends who stand by each other and share a common appreciation for the values she has taught us. Upon student prompting, Ms. Mandarine has organized a trip to Greece, following the “hero’s journey”, in February of 2017. Little does she know that following her is following a hero all the same. Thanks for everything Ms.M.

  26. Mr. Christopher Unruh, my Latin teacher at Hunter College High School, made sure that everyone had the best possible time on our group’s trip to Italy and Greece! Not only did he coordinate the whole trip, he went above and beyond to make each country seem special, cheerfully telling us interesting facts and making sure that we were all enjoying the trip. I had never travelled without my parents before and had my first panic attack in Greece; he helped me through and I don’t know what I would have done without him. He is a wonderful person and I am very happy to nominate him.

  27. My teacher, Mr. Gehrer, is the one who really brought Latin to life for everyone in all of his classes. His enthusiasm and sincere interest in the subject brings everyone joy and he makes everyone feel safe and at ease in his class. He is the teacher of a “dead” language, yet his life lessons are the ones that have taught me the most about life. He is always inspiring his students to drive for greater and to give 110% in everything they do. Thank you for considering me for this opportunity and for giving me the opportunity to complete my life dream of going Italy!

  28. I’d like to thank Mrs. Larmond, an extraordinary teacher, who is creative, funny, hardworking, and makes learning easier. When I walk into her class, she makes me feel welcome. She doesn’t just teach, she inspires. Without her I feel that I wouldn’t be the person I am today. She has taught me so many valuable life skills, and is always welcome to new things. She always is there for her students, and has supported me in everything I’ve done, from new, challenging material, to a new computer coding class, she has stood by me. Mrs. Larmond is truly hardworking, and only deserves the best students, and I’d like to thank her for everything she has done for me.

  29. My orchestra teacher, Mr. Saunders. He has believed in my violin skills since I first walked into the room. He believes in everyone, and because of that, there are seniors who are going to pursue in music in college. Mr. Saunders doesn’t just expect us to play well, he expects us to play like the London Symphony Orchestra or one of those top well-known orchestras. Not only is he my orchestra teacher, he is also my music theory teacher and my friend. He is helping with finding my path for after high school. He inspires me so much and without him, I would be lost with what to do with my life. Mr. Saunders is hilarious, hardworking, intelligent, and truly the best teacher ever. Yes, he is hard with us, but he is hard to us because he knows we can do great things and sound like one. One thing I will never forget about him is when he gave us a speech on how we were a huge family and we needed to depend and listen to each other. He definitely makes it seem like we are a family. I really want to show him how much he means to me and how great of a teacher he is. He deserves everything and I would like to thank him for helping me.

  30. My Spanish teacher Señora Nelly Real-Korb at Plainedge Senior High School is one of the most influential people in my life. She has sparked within me a love for travel and emerging myself into new cultures and experiencing new things. I have had the great honor of traveling to France, Spain, Boston and last week to Greece and Italy with her and I come back blown away every time by how hard she works to see that her students are learning and enjoying themselves. She gives up so much of her valuable time to plan these life changing trips for her students because she is the type of teacher and person that will go to the ends of the earth and back if it means changing someone’s life for the better; which is exactly what she does for her students. She is a hardworking, selfless, honest, kind individual who emits only positive energy and can brighten anyone’s day regardless of their mood. There is no teacher I know that is more deserving of any honor, be it big or small, than this woman. Her wisdom and knowledge in the classroom and in life have sculpted me into the young man I am proud to be and I can only pray that one day I might be able to repay her a fraction of everything she has done for me over my 4 years of knowing her. Señora Real, I would like to thank you for changing my life and giving me the passion to travel and learn. You are an inspiration and blessing to all who cross your path.

  31. At my school, the choir teachers are known to be very relaxed, very chill, but at the same time one of them, Mr. Metallo, is often called out as rude or mean. But that makes me so confused. While Mr. Metallo does tend to be blunt in his comments towards the choir, he gets done what needs to be done. He doesn’t choose flowery and happy words to critique us when we sound awful. He’s not afraid to come right out and say what needs to be said. There have also been quite a few memorable moments in choir when he has sat us down, and told us what he thinks of our lives. Every day, he sees kids with too much work, too many things to do, not enough time to relax, and no energy to enjoy the music they’re singing. These lectures that he has given us about our well being is of course because he wants us to sound good, but they have also changed the way I think of my teenage years. I realized that life is not just about getting into college. You have to find ways to enjoy yourself and to make the most of life, whether it be through friendships, dating, traveling, sleeping(!), eating(!). Mr. Metallo has given me an opportunity to sing in such an amazing and inspiring group for which I will always be grateful, and has stuck his neck out for me and other kids too many times to count. He is an inspiration not just in music, but in his philosophy for life.

  32. To Sra. McGriff,
    To the teacher that has pushed me to go over and beyond. Has taught me that the language of Spanish is more than just a language but a culture by itself. Has stood by me, teaching me more than I thought I could handle but show me I could. Thank you!

  33. My Latin teacher Mrs. Norman deserves much thanks for always being there for us and lending an ear when we have a problem. She makes learning Latin fun and goes the extra mile to enrich our learning experience. She always lives up to her word and I cannot thank her enough for taking us to Europe while she was expecting her first child. It is a memory I will always cherish. She is truly amazing!

  34. Laura Martin, my French teacher of 6 years really deserves this. She does so much for our class and we all had a blast on our trip to Paris last week! We learned so much!

  35. My art teacher Ms. Florimonte deserves this more than anyone! A few months ago, she found out that one of her organs was precancerous, she underwent surgery, and came back to class as soon as she could cause she didn’t want to miss more time with us then she wanted to. There is no one she can’t inspire, she listens, and takes our feedback about how the class is run and she is constantly going out of her way to improve the art program at our school. Ms. Florimonte encourages students to push themselves to their full potential, and a few of them have become noted artist. She has helped me achieve things I never thought I could do. She loves what she does, and everyone loves her, she is the perfect example of what a strong women should be.

  36. Teacher. Otherwise known as parent #2. They strangely acquire every attribute of a mom or dad. They look after you, give you lectures, tell you what to do, and attempt to be there during shaky times. Not all cases are the same. My teacher might not have introduced me to the passion of travel, or music, or any specific subject in general, but I know well that I have become a better person because of them. Mr.Todd Douthit, without knowing it, showed me that sometimes we have to confront life in the most obvious manner. Sometimes we over-complicate things, searching for the answers in the most complicated places, when in reality they’re laying there in plain sight. (This was all communicated through geometry by the way.) I learned to laugh things off, accept my failures, and acknowledge humor as a form of relief after taking his class for two years in a row. That is something that will be with me forever, I think.

    Sitting in the back of the class, I pulled out my journal. I opened it, feeling the crisp paper sliding through my fingertips, and wrote “I don’t know, but Douthit seems like a cool guy.” – -Thanks for all of your life stories, sir.

  37. Mrs Berretta and Mrs Working are a hard working team that take students from Memphis Central THE High School on trips every year. They challenge the students to expand their world view. They make them critically think and experience different places and people and foster a sense of learning and wonder. We have gone with them to Italy and Germany/Czech Republic/Switzerland. They truly make the travel more than just time away from home. They are awesome.

  38. My Latin teacher Dr. Claymore is so much more than a Latin teacher. Dr. Claymore is a leader in our school, mother to her students, prom coordinator, Junior cabinet director, Junior Classical League sponsor, advisement supervisor, and my role model. She does everything with excellence. She runs marathons on weekends. She has more tattoos than I have years of life. She lives what she preaches, and she gives us (her students) opportunities to be great as well. Dr. Claymore does so much for us. She deserves some love.

  39. My chemistry teacher, Mr. Ellington, has made chemistry a passion of mine. He gives his students a lot of trust, and in turn I have learned to be self motivated. He not only explains such a confusing subject well, but always makes class fun with his stories and little dances. I only have one more month of his class, and I couldn’t be more grateful for having his as my teacher!

  40. What is incredible about so many teachers today is that they do not simply “teach.” More often than not, they inspire curiosity, cultivate life skills, and encourage students to draw their own conclusions and opinions. I was lucky enough to have a physics teacher who did just this, and more. The first few weeks of Junior year, Mr. Zalanowski was strict and scary. He never smiled, the tests were near impossible, and I wondered if taking honors physics was simply not for me. However, ever so gradually, the classroom dynamic shifted. This the tests were still difficult, nothing changed there. But I realized that Mr. Z cared about the subject he was teaching, cared about the students, and that the relationship I was developing with him was far more important than a letter grade. Physics is NOT my strongest subject, by far. But I ended up enjoying this class so much, that I signed up for AP physics the following year! I don’t intend to major in physics in college, but thanks to Mr. Z, it has peaked my curiosity and I hope to take some classes “just for fun.” I look forward to physics class everyday because Mr. Z’s knowledge for the subject and genuine love for teaching creates a positive and enjoyable environment. I find myself stopping by his classroom just to say hello, chat about my day, or ask for advice. Mr. Z is not just a teacher to me, he is a mentor. I know I can always come to him, no matter what is going on in my life. I hope to stay in touch with him after I graduate, and wish that future students will be lucky enough to have the same positive experience as I did! Mr. Z deserves this recognition.

  41. Mr. Patch is the best MUN teacher around, and he’s been one of my favorite teachers since I had him freshman year. I want to thank him for organizing our Europe trip (which in fact was through ACIS) and being very patient through all of my countless blunders. On top of all that he wrote a stellar Letter of Recommendation that got me into some great schools.

    Mr. Patch, when we look back in life, we’ll have you to thank for helping us get there.

  42. I’d just like to shout out to my history/economics teacher, Ms. Dwyer, who loves all her students like her own kids. She has a great sense of humor and tries to really engage her students, even when covering dense content that may be boring on its own. Additionally, as the advisor to the Federal Reserve Challenge team, she put in countless hours of her own time, agreeing to meet with us when most agreeable to our schedules, in order to make sure we were well prepared. She didn’t dedicate all she did for her health. Thank you, Ms. Dwyer, for being a pleasure to learn from every day, and for being a great person to stay after class and talk to about current events. I don’t know where my journey will lead me, or if I’ll go into economics or not, but I will never forget the positivity that you brought into my life for the time I’ve been lucky to know you.

  43. Mrs Butcher! She is my Spanish teacher and is leading a trip to France and Spain this summer. She has made me appreciate culture so much more and given me a whole new perspective on the world.

  44. I would like to nominate Mrs. Robin Cain at Kerr Middle School. She is my dyslexia teacher. She is such an amazing and caring person. She helps me out with a lot along with other students. She listens to you and encourages you on everything. She’s always looking out for me and others. She is always there for anything that I need even when I get discouraged. She gives me the confidence to exceed in school. I really don’t know what I would do without her. She has taught me so much. She goes above and beyond her limits as a teacher.

  45. At my school, there are so many amazing and inspiring teachers, but one really sticks out to me. My French teacher, Mrs. Engebretsen makes a positive impact on every single person she meets. To me at first, she seemed strict, and it took me a while to realize that the reason she’s sets boundaries, is because she wants you to succeed. She can give you this look that not many teachers give, it’s one look that means “I know you can do better, and I believe in you.” She has supported every student she ever has had. She wants you to do well and be the best person you can be. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have her as a teacher, you know that she will be there for you whenever you need help. She does more than just teach French, she inspires her students and everyone around her. Her positivity, smiling face, and her caring nature touch people in a way that not many can. If there was a teacher on my campus that not one person could say a mean thing about, it would most definitely be her. Mrs. E really doesn’t get enough credit for what an amazing and influential person she is. I, or my classmates can’t tell her that or thank her enough. Thank you, Mrs. E for being a once in a lifetime type of teacher! We don’t tell you that enough!

  46. I have had the pleasure of having Country Hasner as my Latin teacher for three years now. I took Latin as a freshman figuring it was the easiest way for me to fulfill my 2 year language requirement, but as of last week, I am on the roster for Latin IV next year. Mrs. Hasner goes above and beyond for her students; she is more than simply our teacher, she’s our friend, ally and motivator. I have never once dreaded going to class and I can not remember a class where we haven’t laughed until we cried. On behalf of probably everyone who has ever had her, I would like to thank Magistra Hanser for her dedication to her students and to the classics. I can’t wait for our trip to Italy and Greece next Spring!!! Ave Romanus.
    (Oh. and good luck on your doctorate exams Courtney! <3)

  47. I would like to thank my 8th Grade Math Teacher for laying a strong foundation for High School and coaching me to be a great tennis player. Thanks Ms. Anne Poss

  48. My art teacher, Mr. Joel Pataconi, has had such a wonderful impact on my life. My freshmen year, while I was taking his drawing class, my depression and anxiety became unbearable. Unfortunately, unbearable meant I tried to take my own life late one night in April. After weeks in treatment, I returned back to school facing stress and an uncertain future. However, Mr. Pataconi welcomed me back with open arms, willing to do anything to help. When I needed to vent, he would listen. He’d stay late after school to listen to my anxious fears about the future, reassuring me that everything would work out. Two years later, I’m working to get into a college and pursue a doctorate in Art Therapy. Mr. Pataconi is the one who inspired me to take my dark past and create a brighter future for everyone I meet, and for that I am forever grateful.

  49. I would like to thank Mr. Passaro for everything he has done for his many students, the school community, and myself personally. I have known him as the moderator of and a coach of the Mock Trial Team at my school, an activity to which he has been very devoted. He also has a great passion for history and social equality, and brings that passion to the students, and he feels very much personally involved that students feel passionately about these issues to. He also must be thanked for leading our England and Ireland tour. This tour and his personal love of travel led me to a much greater desire to travel the world and experience new places, people, and cultures, and has opened me up even more to accepting those from other places and backgrounds in my life and community. Thank you Mr. Passaro, you are incredible!

  50. Solpayki, gracias, and thank you to my two trip leaders Mr. Obsiniuk and Mrs. Mullett. They not only made this trip that changed so many of our lives possible, but they made it the way it was; fun, unforgettable, and life changing. I know that I can speak on the behalf of the majority of the other participants in saying we will never be able to match this trip to Peru, whether it be the tight, fun, family attitude set forth by these two teachers, or the eagerness to do anything possible to make this trip full of culture and full of great memories. I will always remember our guides Juan Carlos Espinoza Atoche and David Henry Coavoy, I will always remember the niñas de el Hogar de las Niñas de Santa Rosa who needed our help the most, I will remember Jefferson, the born hustler, I will remember the old Quechua ladies we made an effort to communicate with in their native tongue, I will remember every llama, alpaca, cuy, and mountain that I saw in that magical country and that is all thanks first and foremost to our guides and trip leaders. If I took anything away from that trip, it was that Peru is one of the greatest countries on the planet and that I will be coming back soon hopefully to do work with the children at the orphanage. Thank you sincerely to Mr. Obsiniuk and Mrs. Mullett, for making so many unforgettable memories.

  51. I owe so much to my middle school art teacher, Ms. Escamilla. She always pushed me to do my best work and with her, I really saw an improvement in my artwork. Everyone would describe her as a bit on the wild side, but that just made her even more fun to be with. Ms. Escamilla is welcoming of everybody, and made everyone feel comfortable and happy in her class. She helped me gain confidence in my work and she’s the reason I continue to pursue art even several years after I’ve left her class. She deserves all the appreciation in the world and I’m so grateful for my time being taught by her.

  52. As a freshman, it was my first opportunity to formally learn Chinese in school, and because of my Chinese heritage I had a burning passion for learning about the Chinese culture. I had learned a little from my grandmother who is from Hong Kong, but never could seem to satisfy my hunger; that was until I met LuoLaoShi, my Chinese teacher. I immediately recognized her deep and engaging understanding of the Chinese language and culture. During the school year she encouraged us to go on the China trip to dive into the roots of the culture and dig beyond our limits, so after a convincing my parents how educational this would be, I went. Never could I have imagined how much I had changed. The experience was unlike any other experience in that I became a person with a completely different perspective on life and my philosophies changed completely. Even my parents said how mature I am after the trip, and I could never thank my Chinese teacher enough. For she has given me something I still cannot describe but know will carry with me my entire life. This deep and enriched perspective is not the only reward, my Chinese language skills have improved drastically. But even after all this good and happiness I have received because of my Chinese teacher, our school is cutting the Chinese program and she will no longer have teaching position, but she is still confident that our school will reward her in the end. I am not and this is why I think she is deserving of the reward, because this is a small thing I can do to show her how appreciative I am for all that she has done.

  53. Thank you to Mrs. Friedman for giving me the amazing opportunity to travel to Europe. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had and I am so grateful that our school has you. Not only are you an amazing group leader but also an amazing teacher. I hated French before I had you as a teacher but now I love the language and know it well. Thank you for everything that you have done for your students!

  54. Madame Kort is a teacher that actually cares if her students know understand what she is teaching. She was also was a great adult figure during France, she taught us the ways of the French, how to not be annoying tourists even when it was hard to contain our excitement, and gave us a few history lessons. She wants to help all her students not just fluently learn how to speak French but to also understand the culture.

  55. I would like to thank my French instructor Madame Hoffman! She was amazing because even in first semster french, she forced us to learn the language by simply speaking it all class and translating nothing! Now yes, to some this may seem difficult, and it was but at the end of it all it was effective because I know for myself, I walked away being able to speak a new language! Also, I thank her for pushing me to exceed beyond what I expected for myself. All the red ink spralled across exams and essays saying “I know you can do better”! Thank you for not letting an A- be satisfactory! You are amazing! MERCI MADAME!!!

  56. Leah Jerome, my AP World History teacher, took us on a trip to Peru over spring break. I was able to immerse myself in the culture and history of the land, the people, and of the previous civilizations who lived there. As a group, we climbed Machu Piccu and Wayna Piccu, went to the salt mines, experienced music at night in the towns, and tried new foods (among other adventures). After the trip, I felt like a new person; I was more independent, worldly, and felt freer. Jerome has a love for exploration and her students, and shows it through all she does for us. If one of us fell sick on the trip, she would stay by our side to ensure we got better. Ultimately, she helped to plan every adventure to perfection. The trip would not have been what it was without her, and for that we are all very thankful. Even in the classroom, she is extremely passionate about history and engages the class in every activity that we participate in. There will never be a teacher, let alone a person, more sincere, caring, and adventurous than Leah Jerome.

  57. Food poisoning, airport delays, and lost passports were no problem during our ACIS trip to Costa Rica because our Spanish teacher, Mrs. Reichel, stayed calm, cool, and collected the entire time. Mrs. Reichel is helpful friendly, and passionate about Spanish. She ziplined through the rainforest with us and swam in the pacific ocean. She warned us about the monkeys stealing sandwiches and laughed with us when it unfortunately happened. She encouraged us to use our Spanish with the locals and assured us that it was okay to make grammar mistakes. None of this would have been possible without the hard work put in to planning the trip. With the help of our incredible tour guide, we had an unforgettable vacation to Costa Rica. Thank you Mrs. Reichel for everything!!!

  58. Ms. Skaar Mier is taking a group of kids this summer to London! I’m grateful for the great meetings she hosts that get me very excited about the trip this summer.

  59. My French teacher Madame Smock is the most deserving teacher in the world. She taught me French for two years and will teach me again next year. When Madame Smock teaches you, she knows exactly how to make a lesson fun without being cheesy. She is the only teacher who can give me a whole, complete education without making me feel stressed. As a student in high classes, I am very familiar with being under a lot of pressure. However, Madame Smock’s class is the breather I need in my day. She makes me WANT to learn and makes me excited about learning French. I’m not so stressed that I’m learning just because I’m desperate for a good grade. I’m learning because the relationship between student and teacher is give and take. Madame Smock tries so hard to make French enjoyable and informative, I want to give the same amount of effort; she deserves that much for all the work she puts in to us. When Madame Smock teaches, she ties French to things that interest us. We learn by listening to Belgian pop sensation Stromae (whose CD I bought!) and reading French articles on the Syrian Refugee crisis in Europe. She inspires compassion in us for a people thousands of miles across the sea. She includes lesser known French speaking countries like Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire. By teaching about these third-world francophone countries, I understand and respect a culture and people that was once strange and foreign. When you give an opinion on an issue, she listens to you and sometimes, she says, we teach her about the world when we speak our opinions. It’s so nice to have a teacher that sees me as a person and not as just another student. She is unlike any other teacher I’ve ever had. If there’s anyone that deserves to be recognized as an amazing teacher, it’s Madame Smock.

  60. I have been a French teacher for almost 25 years and have led many trips to France with ACIS. I will never forget my first trip to France with ACIS in 1983 with my high school French teacher, Madame Kay Bork. She was a consummate professional, conveyed her love of the French language with intelligence and humor and inspired her students to achieve excellence in language. I had the pleasure of returning to my high school to teach and worked for a few years by her side before she retired. She was a wonderful colleague and continues to be a Francophile in retirement. Our strong French program is a legacy of her dedication and passion.
    Merci Madame B!

  61. My Spanish teacher, Ms. Paladino, deserves a lot of thanks. She organizes a trip abroad every year and changes the lives of so many. Going to Europe has always been a dream of mine, and I never thought it would be possible, but she made it happen. The trip she organized definitely changed my life, and my love for Europe will never cease to exist. Her care for every student is also noticeable. When some students dropped out of the trip, she pulled them aside and offered to help in any way she could because she knew how important this trip was. Not only this, but she is a hard working teacher, and yes, she pushes us hard, but our class has improved so much. Because of her class, we are now almost at the same level of the immersion kids who have been taking classes since first grade, while we started in 6th grade. So whether it is my love for Spanish, Europe, or travel I have a lot to thank Ms. Paladino for. Gracias Senorita!!

  62. My Spanish 4 teacher Mrs. Antoniewicz is the only reason I continued on from Spanish 2. I am not saying I did not enjoy Spanish. I just liked the way she taught us. She is a very good teacher with a very nice personality. We both have high thoughts of each other. I hope I can have her in class next year for AP Spanish. She is a great teacher, and it would be a shame to lose a teacher like that. ¡Gracias Señora Antoniewicz!

  63. I would like to nominate my history teacher Mr. Adruezzi. He was an amazing teacher, and always tried to encourage everyone to try their best in class. He inspired me to go beyond opening my book and studying, but also to apply the skills he taught us into our every day routines. He is not a teacher who yells at students for the fun of it, but rather out of excitement or surprise. He manages to balance his personal life in being a political official with giving his class the best education he can. I love him to death and I know he’s going to play a vital role in my high school career- my current teacher or not.

  64. Rachel Swank at Attica High School is an amazing teacher. Through partnering with ACIS, she has brought the opportunity of international travel to our very small school. She works so hard to plan a trip every other year. During the months leading up to the trip, she helps the students raise as much money as possible to make the trip affordable. I am so thankful for her efforts and the opportunity my son had to travel to Greece this year and will be traveling to Italy in 2018. Those experiences will be lifelong memories and shape his global perspective.

  65. Madam H. will be missed when she retires, she is the reason I can be useful in France with my once primitive french. Without her everyday in french it would be a different story, we wouldn’t have the structure and my passion would surely be in disarray. I loved being her student and I will always appreciate what she has done for me. Even the kids that want nothing out of French 1 and 2 learn so much. I have never loved a teacher like I loved Madam H. I hope that even if I don’t win this raffle, perhaps she can somehow see this message to her that I wrote directly from my heart to hers.

  66. In life we have many people we learn from. We learn new things everyday, whether it be from the news, our friends, our families, or our educations. When we look back on things we have learned and people we have learned from, the best, most positive experiences stick out in our memories. Teachers can have an especially big impact on a person’s life. A good teacher is one, who’s advise and presence will last with you forever. My French Teacher, Mme Campbell, is that teacher to me. I have never seen someone more dedicated to the success of others, hard working, and involved with her students. The constant effort she puts in everyday is truly incredible. Even when she is feeling under the weather, she continues to exhibit her high enthusiasm, and never ending energy and encouragement. She is entirely dedicated to her students. One day in class, we asked her why she did not have any children, and she replied that we, her students, were her children. She thinks of projects to enhance our understanding and make connections with the French Language. Just recently, we made a comic strip in French, something I’d never even done before in English. She encourporates so much one on one support in class as she goes through everyday to individually have a conversation in French with each student. It might be about what we did last weekend, or how old we were when they liked to play dolls. She runs a very successful French Honors Society as well as a French Club. She has introduced Programs such as a French Immersion Day, that excite and interest incoming French Students to her program.
    I have signed up for the trip she has planned through the ACIS program for the summer of 2017 to France and Italy. I have never seen such an itinerary! She has spent hours upon hours in the last months working every detail out, as she knows which bridge is the best for watching the sunset, and which restaurants are the most authentic! I am looking forward to this trip so much, as she is such a kind person and cares about everyone. I know she will challenge me to use my French and go above and beyond, the way she has taught me to do. She is a true role model to me and will always remain in my heart. She is an example of a truly excellent teacher who has the ability to change and inspire a life. She has truly inspired me, and I know my life has been influenced and positively impacted by her strength and abilities as a teacher.

  67. Love that you’re celebrating teachers! I’ve always wished that I could thank my English teacher Mr Ian Steepe who appeared to be a tough individual (he was even known to throw the odd blackboard eraser at a student but we are talking about a LONG time ago!) . He was so incredibly kind and supportive and nurtured a desire in me to become a writer than I’m still fostering, one day it will happen! Thank you Mr Steepe!

  68. Mr. Perry and Mr. Brown know how to plan a great trip and have a lot of fun! Mr. Perry sure knows his cassava melons and knows how to give great directions. Thanks for a great time!

  69. Mr. Perry is the greatest teacher. He could teach a blind kid the difference between colors. He could pull off a cardigan in any wealthy fashion show. He has the looks of Ronaldo and the smarts of a young stephen hawking. All teachers should inspire to be like Mr. Perry.

  70. Kevin Perry is the most wonderful person I know! He makes Hanover high such a welcoming and fun environment. Not only is he the best person to travel around Italy with because he’s always positive and outgoing but he has such a warm personality that makes everyone want to be his friend. I know for a fact that he puts an incredible amount of effort into these trips all so the students who attend can have amazing memories that last a lifetime. Certainly one of the most humble and deserving people I know. Love you papa perry!!

  71. Mr. Perry is one of most amazing people I have ever met. He makes you smile instantly when you see him in the halls. I have been lucky to have gotten to know him over the passed three years and I’m so greatful to call him a friend. He made this Italy trip the most amazing expirience of my life and I will never forget the memories we all shared. All the laughs, smiles, and the amazing things we saw, I will always remember them. But none of it would have been possible without with mr. Perry and all his hard work and effort! I am so thankful for him. Love you mr. Perry!!

  72. My German teacher, Frau Lesher, has taught me more than any other teacher I’ve had. Freshman year coming into high school I was so nervous and she kept us updated about everything we needed to know and helped my class through all the tough new encounters high school would entail. She comes up with new ideas to make class interesting, and comes up with at least one unit that everyone will enjoy. She realizes that grades aren’t the most important thing in life (contrary to some parents beliefs) and encourages us to make ourselves happy, while keeping up academically. Not only is she an amazing German teacher, she truly cares about every single one of her students. When you’re having a bad day, she notices and asks whats wrong and tries to help you through it. When you’re freezing in her class (since the foreign language hallway is a literal deep-freeze), she offers you a blanket or gives you her jacket. She has three of her own children, but treats every one of us like one of her own. She also runs German club but tries to make the students self sufficient and give them responsibilities so we can learn what its like to control something. On top of all that she runs an exchange program to Germany and tries to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to enjoy that cultural and learning experience. She’s a great teacher and a great person, and she makes my high school experience enjoyable like no other teacher ever has.

  73. Unfortunately I’ve never had Mr.Perry as a teacher but he was the leader of my class trip to Italy. Every piece of the plan for the trip he made with us kids in mind. He is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He makes sure to say hi to everyone he sees in the halls even if he doesn’t know their name. You can tell he truly loves teaching and he always forms a bond with his students.

  74. Mr Perry is an amazing teacher and the kindest person I have met. Costa Rica was an amazing time and such a learning experience! Mr Perry is always so entertaining and knows how to put a smile on all of his students faces!

  75. Mr. Perry is the best teacher ever and an even better tour manager! He lead our amazing trip to Italy and it is something I will never forget! He made the trip so much fun and it wouldn’t have been the same without him! Thank you Mr. Perry for the best trip I’ve ever taken in my life!

  76. As a fellow teacher it has been inspiring to watch a true master motivate and encourage students to love learning. Mr. Perry’s positive attitude is contagious. He is passionate about teaching,and brings out the best in his students by modeling respect and compassion. Thanks for being a true ROLE MODEL.
    -Tim Brown

  77. Kevin Perry is a great man and teacher. Easily one of the most positive and easygoing people I have ever met. He always has his students best interests at heart and strives to make everyones life better in every way, not just in the classroom. He cares, about everyone. He can get along with almost anyone, and makes everyone feel welcome even when they are strangers to him. He is the King of stupid jokes that will always leave you smiling, but also the King of World History. What a versatile person, one of the best there is. He puts a lot into these trips is deserving of many many thank yous. Thanks Mr. Perry for the trip of a lifetime and one of the best classroom experiences I have ever had.

  78. Mr. Taylor Blanton has truly inspired me to become a world traveler. After spending nine days in Europe with my history teacher through ACIS, I truly gained a personal relationship with him. He is always energetic, outgoing, and positive – even when the rush hour of the tube is pushing twenty high schoolers onto a train! I was able to witness how loyal and honorable this man is to his country while attending War memorials in Normandy, and how compassionate he is towards other students with him. While he does butcher his french accent, it inspired people like me to hop out of my comfort zone and try it out; I even miss saying “you’re very welcome” in french. I regret not building a relationship with Mr. Blanton sooner, but I rejoice through the great times he allowed me to have through his leadership, integrity, and positivity.

  79. I am forever grateful for my AP Spanish teacher, Alicia Maturen. She is an ACIS tour manager every single year. She loves to travel and her love spreads to everyone she brings along. She is the most caring and thoughtful teacher. She wants us to do good, not only in school, but in life. She encourages volunteering and service learning trips as a way to give back to the community. She makes everyone’s day so much better because she listens to our needs and will always curve an assignment if need be. Maestra Maturen deserves to win this because she devotes everything to her students. She teaches us that you don’t need money and ‘things’ to be happy. She values experiences and gives amazing inspirational speeches. She has given speeches that take up the entire hour-but she’s okay with that because she knows she is influencing her students for the rest of their lives. She preaches kindness and a low stress lifestyle. She is so funny and is always willing to go the extra mile after school if students need help with something. She has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I have never loved a teacher more!  She knows how to spend time being serious and learning, but also how to get us to laugh and let loose. I, along with many other students, am forever grateful for what Mrs. Maturen did for me.

  80. Two Very Colossal Thumbs Up! I love your statement, Kate! I have had the privilege of having Maestra Maturen as my AP Spanish and Spanish 6 teacher as well, and will never forget about her. She is just as you described her: funny, caring, and always willing to help! Canton High School 2023 Graduate here!

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