Educator of the Year

February 17, 2011
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Entering my senior year, I had a powerful case of “senioritis.” My final year of high school couldn’t be over soon enough—I wanted nothing to do with homework or anything educational. Entering this year in such a state of mind wasn’t my best move; I had mistakenly selected a heavy reading class for the first semester: Modern Literature.

The first day, Ms. Johansen laid it out; she explained the class wouldn’t be easy. She said there would be reading every night (weekends included), and that each novel was filled with quizzes and projects galore! I grumbled to myself how I hated the class already, dreading having to read those boring books that inevitably came along with the average high school reading class.

But after Ms. Johansen explained how the following weeks would roll out, a vivacious glow came across her face as she reviewed the books we would read during the semester. Later on that week, we were given our first book. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is about Ms. Johansen, but her honest love for getting students to interact in class makes you want to participate… even if it means cracking open (what turned out to be not so boring) books!

Ms. Sarah Johansen has an upbeat personality that you can’t help but love. Her class is the one I look forward to all day long. She never judges her students or their opinion. Ms. Johansen’s comments are always welcoming and she will never put a student down for what they believe. Her openness to individuality is a breath of fresh air.

Ms. Johansen and I developed a relationship that made walking into her classroom like walking into my own room. She has become the only teacher I have ever had that I want to sit down and talk to; she’s corrected papers for other classes for me and we’ve vented to one another.
Ms. Jo has welcomed me into her room during her lunch break so I could get whatever was bothering me off my chest—whether it was boyfriend problems, stress of college, or even family problems.

Ms. Sarah Johansen always makes time for her students, even while she’s going to school for her Master’s degree. Even though she sometimes struggles with her own stress, she never lets it affect her in the classroom.
Ms. Johansen an extremely organized teacher and she gets projects and tests/quizzes corrected and back to the students in almost no time. I can honestly say if Ms. Johansen was not my teacher, I would never have opened a single book this year.
Her openness to everyone makes her class irresistible to enjoy! Through this year I’ve learned that not all books are boring, and that a great teacher is not only one who helps you out with your education, but one who also helps you out in all aspects of life. Ms. Johansen is hardworking, personable, one-of-a-kind teacher that deserves a pat on the back!





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