Educator of the Year for 2009

April 3, 2009
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Going into sophomore year, I was a quiet student trying to find my place in thousands of like-minded peers. Walking into my first day of Functions, a seemingly difficult math course, fear lingered in my head. Although advanced in the math area, I didn’t feel as if my math skills were up to par for this challenging subject.

Twenty other bright students sat and took notes that first day, and all seemed to understand what was going on. It seemed as if I was the ONLY one who was lost. Mr. Conway, the teacher, was going through the course work in a slow, procedural matter, but I still had questions.

Handouts and note-taking strategies were administered during the first weeks of the course. Whenever a question came up, I was not afraid to ask for help. After school was often spent in Mr. Conway’s room because I was determined to understand the information needed for that nights homework assignment. Each assignment was completed on time because homework quizzes were administered in the first ten minutes of every day. This kept students up to date on homework, and ensured every student was on the same page for that day’s lesson.

Mr. Conway’s passion for the students and the material made me WANT to earn that “A.” Like most other high school students, when the teacher doesn’t care, neither do I. I know I will get an “A” no matter how little work I put into it, so little work is what I put in. But, Mr. Conway was just the opposite. His passion for math made me appreciate every lesson and gave me a reason to complete daily homework assignments and study for tests and quizzes.

At the end of the semester, when I found my ID number on the sheet of paper and scanned to see the Semester Grade, that “A” felt more powerful than a few drops of ink on a table of grades. It felt as if I owned that “A.” I earned it. I deserved it.





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