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Greg Budzien Teacher of the Year
It was a warm summer day and I was working outside with my brother Alex, at the country club. We were finishing up some small jobs when suddenly a scrawny little man came up to us in his golf cart. He was very excited to see Alex; it looked like they were old friends.
This little man seemed so passionate about everything. He was very funny and charismatic too.
I asked Alex, “Who is that guy?”
Alex said, “That’s Mr. Bud. He’s the best English teacher at Arrowhead.”
I hadn’t ever seen a teacher as fun as Mr. Bud. I was only a freshman in high school at that time, so I could only hope to have Bud as a teacher.
In the fall of 2009, I began my junior year at Arrowhead and was lucky enough to finally have Bud as my English 11 teacher. Bud enlightened me during my junior year and I began to actually enjoy English class. I know that it sounds crazy to actually like English, but I really did. During my first two years of English I dreaded going to class, but Bud changed that for me. I looked forward to going to English, and it became my favorite class ever.
Bud had a way of cheering me up when I was in the crappiest mood. Bud would hit golf balls in class, he would crack jokes with his students, and he wasn’t afraid to go against what all the other teachers were doing. I remember him doing a little gangster act during class so he could make whatever point he was trying to make. We would walk into the room to see Bud with a hoodie sweatshirt and aviators on. He pretended the stapler was a gun and he had a fake cigarette in his hand. Bud was trying to teach us about bullying and he wanted all of us to know how it felt to be one of the kids that is humiliated and belittled. This is a picture that I will never get out of my head.
It made me happy that he was comfortable enough with us to dress up like that in class. His ability to be silly allowed me to be more comfortable and it was actually fun to present projects in his class. He would encourage us to be silly with the other students in the class and we were able to let loose.
“Never judge a book by its cover.” This is how I felt about Bud and how he felt about all his students. Bud was a man of second and third chances. He wouldn’t hate you if you made a mistake and he would put forth as much effort as you put.
Bud showed me English can be fun and he gave me courage to be a little goofy sometimes. This is why I am nominating Mr. Greg Budzien as my favorite teacher. Bud never thought of himself as better than anyone else. Bud is an equal, an amazing teacher, and loyal friend.