Educator of the Year

April 28, 2011
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You take a quick glance around the room. These test questions are just too difficult for you, but you can’t risk failing. There’s only one thing to do. You lean over, to the person next to you, just to take a quick look at your classmate’s test and…BAM! A lion has leapt from the underbrush, seized your test, and has ripped it up before your very face!

Most people will have no idea what this means. However, there are a select number of people that will. These students have had the privilege of being in the class of Mr. John T. O’Kneski, or Mr. O for short. He’s a no-nonsense, old school teacher, yet one cannot say “Educator of the Year” without thinking of Mr. O. The question isn’t “Is he the Educator of the Year?” it’s, “Why is he the Educator of the Year?”.

None of Mr. O’s students, from St. Elizabeth’s or especially here at the Delaware Military Academy, will ever forget him. From, his pre-test speech about the lion in the underbrush, to whistling Dixie in the dark, his influence has spread throughout Delaware and the whole Tri-state area. People can not help but like Mr. O. When you first meet him, he may seem like too much, but in no time he will grow to be your favorite teacher of all time. People will look back, ten years from when they leave DMA, and remember Mr. O.

Mr. O isn’t the kind of teacher to just let you do whatever you want in his class. Every single class, we are learning. The information is imbedded into our minds, so that we are always prepared for the quizzes and tests he gives. However, his classes are not terrible. In fact, they are just the opposite. I look forward to his class everyday. Mr. O is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the funniest teacher at DMA; he’ll joke around with us, just like he’s a regular friend and not a teacher.

Even though Mr. O is a funny teacher, he doesn’t treat us like we are children. He knows that we are growing up, and can handle more responsibility, and can handle mature matters. From the crisis in Libya, to bullying in Australia, Mr. O talks to us adult-to-adult. He respects us, at least the ones who have earned it and deserve it. Like I said, he’s no-nonsense, and if you make him angry, he is not afraid to let you know it. The thing I think Mr. O respects the most is intelligence. He recognizes the more intelligent students, but does not treat them any better or worse than the rest of his students.

Is there really any reason why Mr. O shouldn’t receive the teacher of the year award? The answer is simple: No. He is a great teacher, he is unforgettable, and he respects his students. There isn’t a person alive who deserves to be Educator of the Year more than Mr. John T. O’Kneski, because he is the teacher of the year. And I’m not whistling Dixie in the dark, whatever the hell that means.

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