Educator of the Year

April 3, 2009
I once told Mrs. Carnell she reminded me of Dory the fish suffering from short-term memory loss from the movie Finding Nemo. She replied quickly with, “So you’re saying I’m dumb?” with an offended, but not mad tone. Her interpretation of my comment was everything but correct.
As a senior, I’ve had many teachers throughout my journey, but one has always stood out. I was blessed to have Mrs. Carnell not only as my ninth grade English teacher, but also as my twelfth grade advanced composistion teacher. She truly is the most caring person I have ever met. Her love and dedication for each student has amazed me since the first time I met her.
This year I was faced, like most seniors, with the task of writing my college essay. I contemplated what to write about. I could only think of one event in my life that I learned a lesson from, and it was a really hard thing for me to write about. As my essay started to unfold, and the story of the abuse of an ex-boyfriend kept unraveling, her concern grew. I don’t think I would have been able to write that essay if I had any other teacher. Knowing she was the one reading my essay helped put my fear and apprehension aside.
I’m sure many teachers can see when a student is having a bad day or looks like something’s wrong, but few actually take the time to ask if you’re okay like she does. She is incredibly understanding, and she makes me feel like I’m a person, not just a number (which is often a feeling you get going to a school the size of Arrowhead). It doesn’t take her three weeks and hours of playing lame games for her to remember your name.
Mrs. Carnell is a great person, teacher, and role model for every student. Her personality and knowledge has a life-long effect on every person who knows her. Mrs. Carnell has taught me so much more than just grammar and how to write. She has taught me to strive for things I think are impossible, to smile away my fears, and most importantly, to respect myself.
These are the reasons she resembles Dory to me. She is life’s most important lessons in a good disguise. Sometimes in life, you need the constant support of someone who cares about you and is ready to push you to become a better person, even if you think you don’t need them. Dory was that character in Finding Nemo and Mrs. Carnell is that to me.

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