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The ACIS Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 Contest!

May 8, 2017 Marc Amigone 42 Comments
Category ACIS Community


At ACIS, every week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but this week, the rest of the country is joining us in letting the teachers of the world know just how much we love them!

Everyone can point back to someone in their life who made a difference and empowered them to reach their full potential. There isn’t a successful person alive today, who didn’t have lots of great teachers challenging, inspiring, and pushing them to reach for the stars. One can only imagine where we’d be if only society spent as much time rewarding and incentivizing people to enter and stay in education as we do other more “glamorous” fields.

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

42 thoughts on “The ACIS Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 Contest!

  1. I nominate Mrs. Michele Dolezal. She’s the high school art teacher over here at Gonzales ISD and strives to do her best. She helped me revive the Art Club at our school that dissolved before she took the job. Mrs. Dolezal tries her best to teach with what little budget she has, it gets smaller each year. She’s an amazing person and like a second mom to me.

    1. I nominate my French teacher Mme Boyde. She is the most amazing, and fun teacher I’ve ever had. She devotes all of her time to her students, and strives for them to be successful. Mme is willing to do anything for her students to learn. She has dressed up like a fourtune teller, an astronaut, and even invented songs to the tunes of nursery rhymes to help her students remember how to conjugate verbs. She enriches us in French culture by introducing us to different things about France. Like the food, buildings, music, and artwork of a wonderful country. Whenever you enter Mme’s magical French room, you’re greeted with a smile. She even hosts French club, where we do cheese tasting, make our own bûches de Noël (French winter desert), and have a foreign language film fest. Mme B has true passion for what she does. She expresses herself with great creativity. She is quite the character and everyone who knows her can agree with me when I say that You’re missing out if you don’t know Mme. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have her as a teacher. And I’ve never in my life learned so much and had so much fun at the same time.

  2. I nominate Mr. Craig Howe. He teaches statistics, gemometry, and environmental at the Westfield school. He also hosts two clubs. He always strives to help his students achieve their goals. He’s always in a positive mood and pushes his students to do their best. He’s an amazing person and deserves recognition.

  3. I nominate Mr. Fischer. He is my French teacher at McFarland Highschool. He’s not just a teacher he is a track coach as well. He always makes his classroom a entergenic environment that makes you want to learn. He helps you be the best student and athlete you can be. He pushes you to your potential that he sees in you. He has helped me so much this year with pushing myself to my limits. He does so much and I feel he is not recognized for all the work he puts into our class, he always does extra stuff to help us to learn the language better. He’s an awesome teacher that deserves to be recognized.

  4. I would like to nominate my teacher, Ms. Budesa as a teacher I appreciate most. She began teaching at Haddon Township High School four years ago, and I was fortunate to have been taught by her each of those years. She is the team leader of the Camden Knowledge Bowl and led us into a two-time back to back victory this past winter. She involves herself in our student council events as much as possible, volunteering to play her bass guitar and drums at events and Open Mic Nights, where students are encouraged to show off their skills, including Ms. Budesa. She is intelligent, funny, humble, and my ultimate role model. I am fortunate that she wrote me a letter of recommendation for the college I will be attending this Fall. Thank you to the best Latin teacher, Magistra Budesa!

  5. I nominate Charlene Clay, who is a Sp Ed teacher at Wilma Rudolph Learning Center, she works with students with Special Needs and her work is amazing. She has been working at that school for more than 20 years, and you can see passion for her profession ahd her students every day. She, and others like her are an example for our society, Thanks to her, and all the teachers that give everything and more for our children. and Thank you for your initiative, it should be imitated.

  6. Mrs. Jennifer McQuade is my Advanced Chemistry teacher at Franklin High School in Livonia, Michigan. She has helped raise class morale throughout the entire school year. Through fundraisers such as cereal collections, blood drives, and cancer awareness events, she has donated the most and encouraged us to help others. She deserves this award because she has been nominated for the district “Teacher of the Year” multiple times, but refuses to write about herself for the award. This is a way for her to be recognized for all her hard work in a tangible way, and I know she would appreciate it. Thank you for your consideration.

  7. I nominate Ms. Real- Korb from Plainedge High School School. She is the most caring and genuine person I know. She teaches Spanish of all levels and brings the classroom to life when she brings her students on these amazing trips across the Atlantic. She is retiring tis year but still bringing students on an ACIS trip next year! She CARES about her students and about other cultures and bringing people together more than anyone I know and deserves this unquestionably.

  8. I would like to nominate Mrs. Liotopoulos for Teacher Appreciation Week. She is wise, kind-hearted and an outstanding role model for her students. Mrs. Liotopoulos is the Spanish and Italian teacher at The Mary Louis Academy. She also is a club moderator and involved in the school community in so many ways. She inspires her students each and every day. She is one of my favorite teachers for many reasons. She is an excellent language teacher because she provides her students with knowledge outside of the classroom. She always is kind enough to share images from the trips she has been a part of with ACIS, and share food from the countries she has visited. I was fortunate enough to attend two ACIS Educational tours with Mrs. Liotopoulos. She is so knowledgeable and such a great mentor for her students. She pushes her students to be the best students they could be, in all that they do. She is always available for extra help when a student does not understand a topic. She is such an amazing teacher, and she has touched the lives of so many of her students over the years. She has taught at The Mary Louis Academy for 23 years, and all of her hard work, and the love she has shown for teaching deserves to be recognized. Thank you!

  9. I nominate Señora Eva Morales from New Hyde Park Memorial High School. She led us on our tour through Spain over the Easter break and her passion for the language and culture were inspiring. Her dedication to her job and her students made the trip even more amazing than we previously thought possible. Every other year she has been leading a group of juniors and seniors through Spain and no matter how many times she goes she showed as much enthusiasm as somebody who we’re visiting Spain for the first time. Even in class, Señora Morales shows passion in her work and makes learning Spanish and the culture of different Spanish speaking countries incredibly enjoyable. She truly deserves the recognition, and all of her classes of 100+ students would agree.

  10. I am nominating Mr. Walker from Puyallup High school because he is one of the hardest working teachers I know. With AP testing right around the corner, he held after school study sessions and weekend optional help for his students. He also prepared breakfast the morning of the AP test for his AP U.S. history class. An amaizng man and an even better person.

  11. I nominate Señora Ache (Mrs. Haldenwang) from St. Mary’s high school. As my Spanish teacher, Señora Ache has not only taught me a second language but a newfound appreciation for Spanish culture. She taught me more about my heritage as well as a new perspective on Spanish histories from countries such as Spain, Cuba, and Mexico. Señora Ache is a hard working teacher who places her students needs above her own. She is a caring teacher who made learning a fun experience for the past four years of my high school career.

  12. I nominate Mr. Mark McBride from Tri-Valley High School in Downs, Illinois. He has worked here since 1993 and has been doing trips with ACIS since 1999. He teaches world and US history and also leads a re-enactment group for students, parents, and alumni who have an interest in recreating the history of soldiers during various wars involving the US. He is also a huge advocate of “Hands on History”; bringing in artifacts from different periods of time that pertain to what students are currently studying. Mr. McBride was also awarded the 2017 Olive Foster Outstanding Teacher Award by the Illinois State Historical Society. He is so passionate about his job and his students and is one of the most educated individuals I’ve ever met. I look up to him so much and he deserves to be recognized for all he does and continues to do for our school and our community. He’s the one who inspired me to go on a trip with ACIS and I’m so thankful that he gives us the awesome opportunity to go on these trips!

  13. I nominate my AP Chemistry teacher Dr. Zung from Rye High School. Dr. Zung is one of the most devoted teachers I have ever had. In the weeks leading up to the AP, he came to school at 6am and stayed after school till 10pm just so he could help students review. He also bought us all donuts and orange juice the morning of the test. Dr. Zung works tirelessly to make sure every student understands the material and is comfortable in his class. He is one of the only teachers who I feel like won’t judge me for understanding a concept, and that will never treat me like a burden when I go to for extra help. He also makes every class enjoyable, by making up crazy fake stories, speaking in a made up language, showing us the theme song to “Mothra” and videos from when he used to be a part of the New York opera, or bringing in his pet bird.s class constantly excites and challenges me, and he deserves every possible form of thanks.

  14. I nominate my Latin teacher Mrs. Courtney Hasner because she is an awesome teacher who teaches cool and interesting things about Roman and Greek life, their history, and mythology. She even organized a trip to Greece and Italy along with ACIS and we all had a blast. I think she deserves this prize and this will be like a parting gift from a graduating senior.

  15. I am nominating my lovely French teacher Ms. Braun. On the trip to France she guided us so well and was such a delight to be around. She knew exactly what she was doing and all the students loved having her around. She taught all of us the French we know today with enthusiasm and care which is just one of the many reasons she is so great! Without Ms. Braun, the trip to France would not have been possible and I would not have the valuable knowledge I have today.

  16. I wish to nominate my English teacher Mr. David Peters for the Teacher Appreciation Contest. He’s easily the most deserving educator that creates a thought-provoking classroom experience, and adds his own personal flair to every lesson, adding a spark of ingenuity to Chartiers Valley High School. He goes out of his way to make sure every student grasps the subject, whether it be Shakespeare’s Macbeth or the difference between Ad Hominem and Red Herring. Mr. Peters deserves recognition for all the hard work he does, both inside and out of the classroom, and I want to thank him in this way, for taking on the challenge of bringing CV to London.

  17. I nominate Mrs. Gabriela McNamara, Señora of the Spanish 3, 4, and 5 at Narragansett. She is an incredible teacher, using her childhood experiences from growing up in Argentina to tell her students stories she grew up learning about. She has an incredible work ethic, not leaving the building until everything from that day is graded, and every student gets the help that they need. Although she keeps high standards and expects great things from all her students, she is always there to guide them through any assignment until they understand fully. Not only is she an amazing teacher, she is an amazing resource for students in the school, acting as a mentor to many. After over 20 years as a school teacher, Mrs. McNamara deserves some serious #teacherappreciation

  18. I nominate Ms. Schlosser from Brookfield Academy, she is a very well read person and is very energetic. Her English classes are full of surprises from reenacting plays to watching movies related to the assigned reading. She is also a field hockey coach and has led our Division 1 field hockey team to glory of having won the state championship of Wisconsin. She’s a world class teacher on and off the field.

  19. I nominate Mrs. Karen Marx, the French teacher at Seaholm High School. I recently got the privilege of going on my school trip with her to France, and while there have gained enormous amounts of respect for her through the patience she had, her positivity, and her fun-loving attitude the whole 10 days we were traveling. She has taught me so much both in and out of the classroom, and continues to bring excitement to my first hour class everyday with either a new French song that has to do with what we’re learning, or having to perform a skit in front of the class with memorized lines. She has made me love the language I’m struggling to learn, and to give me hope that someday I can become fluent even if I didn’t learn it from birth. She is an inspiration and continues to push me to become better everyday.

  20. I nominate Mrs Catherine Tejnecky from Cosby High School in Midlothain, VA because her oceanography class was the reason why I feel like I will be able to make a true difference in the world. She ignited a scientific spark in me that I plan to never let die. Now, my ultimate goal is to be able to create a renewable energy source out of carbon dioxide in order to save our atmosphere, oceans, and all organisms on earth, I wouldn’t have been able to dream nearly as big if it wasn’t for her.

  21. I vote Mark Mcbride. He works with his students on World History and never seems to stop working. He makes the class fun while still learning about the world’s history. He brings in actual artifacts from the place he is teaching, and take them to the place (if they sign up for the trip). He made his class one of my favorites.

  22. I nominate Keith Grasmann. He is a French teacher at both Pleasantville High School and Pleasantville Middle School. Mr. Grasmann is not only an engaging teacher, but an inspiring role model. He teaches his students to look for adventure, be open to new possibilities, and to meet the world with kindness. His open and vibrant personality encourages students to dig deeper into their studies while maintaining a positive outlook. He is accepting of all people and his happiness is infectious. Mr. Grasmann lead my school’s trip with Acis to France this year and with his guidance and experience, every student gained a better understanding of cultures around the world and the value of travel as a form of education!

  23. I wish to nominate Ms. Neinast my AP world history teacher at L.C. Anderson High School in AISD. From the very first day of class I have constantly been learning from Ms. Neinast whether it be about history or other life lessons. It is easy to tell that she loves the subject that she teaches and constantly wants to teach her classes new and exciting things and encourages us to go learn and try new things on our own as well. No matter what she is also always available whether it be me emailing her at 10:00 PM for a last minute recommendation letter or if I show up early to go over the most recent test and ask her my questions, showing how devoted she is to her students and job along with how much she loves her work. Throughout my sophomore year I also feel as if she has made me love history even more than I already had as she makes me feel as if there is constantly more to learn and room to grow, pushing me to go the extra mile along with my class mates to learn and be able to succeed in a higher level class. Her encouragement goes even farther as she never gives up on a student and facilitates a growth mind set encouraging everyone to learn more about history and improve their writing skills for the AP test again showing her value for education. Ms. Neinast also encourages travel and an open mind to other cultures that might appear different to us in order to learn and know more about the wonderful world that we live in. In the end I feel as if Ms. Neinast truly is one of if not the best teacher that I have ever had as she is constantly pushing her students towards a higher education but also being devoted to those students providing them any and all help that she can in order for them to succeed.

  24. Mr. Ridgeway changed my life the minute I walked into French class. “It’s hrrrrr, not hruu in rouler!” he says. Then he paces and gesticulates in a fit of passion, clasps his hands together and bows his head as if he were praying to a celestial being, and opens his blue eyes in expectation. He goes through every conceivable notion to draw us into a world where R’s resemble H’s and pain holds a rather tasty connotation. Some days I’m convinced Monsieur is the Picasso of French class. Refusing to see French as black and white, Monsieur piles a concoction of clay snails, origami shoes, and scented stickers upon orthodox verb charts, creating a masterpiece known to us as First Block French. Somehow, it works. His unabating enthusiasm and tirades en français invoke a sense of commitment in all his students that remains unmatched by any other teacher. We try harder, work harder, and pray that one day we master the foreign vernacular and return to hold conversations beyond what we could’ve dreamed of in high school French class. Always ready to decipher symbols and breathe meaning into them, he opens our minds and our hearts to the possibilities learning another language can create. I’ll never forget him and constantly be aware of the influence he has had on my life.

  25. I nominate my Art III and Art History teacher, Anna Garner. She not only helped me progress artistically, but she also is passionate about what she does. She wakes up at 4:30 every morning because she lives out of town. She spends all day every day making sure that all of her students know and understand the curriculum. She is the reason I’m considering minoring in Art History. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have built my artistic talent this year at all. I used to love art, but there was a three-year gap in which I didn’t have time to create any art at all. This year, Mrs. Garner took me under her wing, and it was like I never stopped. I now do commissioned work, and her passion for what she does inspires me to have the same enthusiasm in everything I do.

  26. My high school science teacher Mr. Messana has inspired me years past my high school career ended. He was only my teacher once in freshman year but that hasn’t stopped him from reaching out and educating me on a personal level. I was honored to be his student ambassador for an ACIS trip across Europe and since then my lust for travel has not ceased. The trip was science oriented, we visited museums and structures I’ve only ever heard of online inspiring me to be diligent with my studies and fight for my passions. I had the amazing opportunity of watching him arrive in a foreign place with his girlfriend and leave with his fiancé. I nominate him because of his passion for his field of study and his family.

  27. I would like to nominate my high school Spanish teacher of three years, Señora Gabriela McNamara. The past three years she has made a tremendous impact on my life, as well as all the other students she teaches each year. She goes above and beyond, staying after until past 5pm almost everyday, to make sure the students actually learn the material. Every two years she individually organizes a trip to Spain through ACIS. I was fortunate enough to attend one of these trips last year. Also, every year she takes 50 language students to New York City to visit the United Nations, the MET, and the Museum of History. This is not required of her, this is something she plans on her own. Señora teaches not only verb conjugations, but how to be a better, more respectful, more caring, individual. I will miss her next year!
    #aciscontest #teacherappreciationweek

  28. I would like to nominate my spanish teacher, Señora Eva Morales. She is very invested and devoted to her students success. No matter how much background or talent you have for the subject, she appreciates hard work over everything. Even though, I struggle with spanish more than any of my other classes, it remains to be one of my favorite subjects. Being in Spain with ACIS and Señora Morales was a great experience. She truly wanted us all to have a great time and contributed greatly to the amount of fun I had on the trip!

  29. I nominate my math teacher Miss. Caitlin Whispell from St. Mary’s School in Medford Oregon. Never in my entire life have I understood math and this year I not only understand it, but I feel confident in my mathematical abilities!!! Miss Whispell is the most loving, kind, understanding, and for sure most adored teacher by myself and many others. She is so helpful and really let’s you know that she cares about you. I feel like I can go to her with anything and so do multiple other students! She has students from other math classes coming to her to get help because she is just so amazing!!! I can explain how much this wonderful lady deserves this! I don’t think I’ve ever felt this much comfort or love for a teacher in my life! She is so approachable it’s unexplainable. So much love to this educator, inspirer, and incredible lady!!! Will never forget her as long as I live. Hope she wins because she of all people deserves this!!!!

  30. THANK YOU for the wonderful MESSAGE! It made MY DAY all the way over the top to say the LEAST!


  31. I nominate Mr. Bruinooge who is such an inspiration to the students, he always makes his lesson applicable to the real world and makes learning fun!
    -Rick DeVries

  32. I nominate my math teacher, Ms. Whispell, from St. Mary’s School in Medford Oregon. I have high functioning autism and all of my life, I hav struggled in math classes. This year, in Algebra 2 of my junior year I am holding a solid B all year. I have grown so much this year and I couldn’t have made it this far without Ms. Whispell. Ms. Whispell is so approachable, kind, fun, and an all around awesome person. I hope Ms. Whispell wins this because out of all people she deserves it most!

  33. Mr. (Mark) Michalak is the only teacher I have had who genuinely cares what happens to students outside of school, and will actually offer help to students who need it. This is my first year taking Latin, and I have learned more in this class than I have from any other teacher this school-year.

  34. I nominate Mr. Mark McBride from Tri-valley high school. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He always keep the class lively and interesting. Because of him I now love history.

  35. I nominate Mr. Mark McBride from Tri-Valley High School. He makes history exciting and fun. He brings artifacts and makes history “come alive.” The work he does with the reenactors at our school and Civil War Daze is amazing! He is deserving of this honor and his passion for history is undeniable.

  36. I want to nominate Brittany Skillern, a very great art teacher at Westwood High. She has a charismatic and kind personality, and it shows through her art.

  37. I would like to nominate and say thank you to Ms. Mykytenko because the Rome trip was excellent. I learned the culture questions on the National Latin Exam because of all the memories of walking around and inside the Pantheon, the Colosseum and Pompeii. This trip was also special because it helped me meet people in my grade at a new school, and it brought me closer to my friends because I had to live with them for a week. A few highlights were the Vatican, eating gelato near pantheon, and the wonderful people who live and showed all of us the town of Pompeii. The trip was an amazing experience and I would like to thank my teacher for taking time to organize such an academic opportunity trip that was also completely fun.

  38. I would like to nominate my teacher, Liz Schnautz from The Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders which is in Austin, Texas. Ms. Schnautz will be my group leader when I take my ACIS trip to the Dominican Republic next month. Without her I would not be going. Ms. Schnautz did all she could to assist me in raising the funds to be able to go. She coordinated and advocated on my behalf. She truly went above and beyond for me and I really appreciate her. It would be great for her to win this contest because she deserves it.

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