Understatements This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 18, 2011
Understatements. Life, especially high school, is full of them. The Grand Canyon is big, snow is cold, and Einstein was smart. And I hated math. No understatement, however, is bigger than when I tell you that Jim Hessler is a great teacher.

Coming into my sophomore year of high school I was nervous to say the least. Math had never been my strong suit and now I was faced with what—at the time—was my greatest challenge of all: Geometry. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, it was.

Math can be difficult. Understatement. To make matters worse, the difficulties only discourage people and make them not want to try. I was discouraged. Understatement. Fortunately for me, this is when I met Mr. Hessler.

As a teacher and coach at Arrowhead for many years, Mr. Hessler makes it a privilege to be taught by him. He teaches us with patience and kindness no matter who we are, and he always extends an extra hand, even if you don’t have the courage to tell him you need it.

This man has the capability to excite you about the subject and motivate us by having funny little phrases like “bring your Gatorade tomorrow guys ‘cause we’ve got a test,” and “here’s another coming at ya.” To say that Mr. Hessler does not speak in a monotone voice would be another understatement. His voice is always excited and he makes me excited too.

He has such a passion for math that he wants to share with us and he is enthusiastic about it. The way Mr. Hessler teaches shows us he loves math and it makes me want to love it to. His jokes and motivational quotes he puts on the bored makes me believe that he has fun with math and wants us to have fun too.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Well, why do I need to learn this? I’m never going to use it.” Mr. Hessler goes beyond this and shows us examples about how we could use math in real life situations that none of us can deny we will encounter.

Mr. Hessler gets to know his students personally and develops relationships with all of us, even giving us nicknames like, Lizzie D (that’s me), so we feel comfortable and really connected with him. He treats us like friends, as opposed to treating us like students.

I was only privileged enough to have Mr. Hessler as a teacher for one semester, but I have been blessed to know him outside of the class as a friend. He has helped me in more math and he has touched my life. He is always there to talk to, and encourage you in the hallways and is always surrounded by a flock of students who want to talk with him as well.

To say this man is an excellent teacher and person would be the understatement of the century. Mr. Hessler is so much a gift to us all that I was hesitant to write this paper for fear of being unable to quite capture his greatness. I am nominating him because he not only is the most deserving person I have ever met , but I have never been more touched or inspired by a person as I have been by Mr. Hessler. He is genuine. He is fair. He is great. And that is no understatement.

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