My Nomination

April 22, 2012
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Educator of The Year Nomination 2012: John O'Kneski

Have you ever been to a school where there are students rushing to get to class because they are excited to learn? This is actually a common occurrence for students going to Mr. O’Kneski’s class. Kids rush to his class not only to learn but because his students know he’s going to make class interesting. Students rush to his class because he makes learning Government and Economics class fun. Who would have thought high school learning could be fun?
One thing that makes Mr. O’Kneski so interesting is his contagious enthusiasm for what he teaches and who he teaches. Just his presence in the classroom puts his students in a very joyful learning environment. He has a distinct nasal tone that only he himself could produce. His tone and the knowledge he shares has students hanging on every word. He captivates his audience by acting out certain events with the students. His genuine interest in his students is evident by his former students stopping by his class to visit him. He attends school events to show school spirit and support to his students. One time he went to a school dance in a cape, crown, and a scepter and everyone referred to him as King O.
He challenges his students to think without us even realizing that we are thinking. For example he compares himself to a lion in the underbrush watching over us as we take our tests, which made us all think about what he was referring too. He shares with us stories about his experiences, and his years have brought him plenty of experiences. Mr. O is a great combination of intelligence and fun. This combination equals success, his success as an educator and our success as students. Mr. O has students wanting to learn because he makes it exciting. When students want to learn our motivation is high and we succeed.

While there is fun in learning in Mr. O’s class he never forgets that the goal is education. He mixes modern day world political events with discussion. Every week we write a paper on a political current event happening in the world. He gives his opinion on these events and explains the situation. He encourages us to share our opinions and challenges us to explain the basis of our opinions. (Again he makes us think and we don’t even realize it.) Often during our class he will act out the lessons, or share quotes and the classroom will roar with laughter. Imagine that, learning, laughter, and excitement.) He also brings laughter to the class by happily proclaiming that his favorite singer is Bruce Springsteen and his home state is “New Joisey”. There is no exaggeration to how much Mr. O helps all of his students every single day. When he teaches he utilizes many different ways to get the lesson across to the student. And he will always push you to do better and be better.
I would like to nominate my government and economics teacher John O’Kneski for Educator of the Year because his teaching makes students love to learn. His unique teaching style, his passion for education, and his devotion to making his student’s better citizens through knowledge, contribute to him being my nomination. Mr. O exemplifies what a great educator is, one whose teaching motivates students to success. If you get the chance to be in his class for a day you are sure to leave a little smarter. His classroom isn’t hard to find at all. Just follow the students who are rushing to get to class because they are excited to learn, or just listen for the classroom with laughter.





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