Educator of the Year for Mr. Budzien

April 6, 2009
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Could reading ever be interesting or enjoyable? I never thought it could be, until the day I met Mr. Budzien. As I began Modern Literature in the first semester of my junior year, an energetic, cheerful man greeted me at the door with a “high five.” This welcoming act may not seem like a big deal, but at the time, I was unfamiliar with the school and it was just the comfort I needed to help me through my day.
In the first class, we discussed what makes a good teacher. Mr. Budzien had our class shout out adjectives describing teachers and then asked us what kind of teacher we like. Being open-minded he, as a teacher, was looking for ways to improve. We formed a list of class rules. Mr. Budzien allowed input and I believe it encouraged our class to follow the rules, since we helped make them. During the first couple of weeks, Mr. Budzien would start class by asking simple questions to every student, getting to know each of us better each and every day. All of these actions made me enjoy Modern Literature, which in turn, made me enjoy reading as well.
Every night we were given a reading assignment from selected books. The next day, we had a quiz on the reading. If a student didn’t do well on the quizzes, Mr. Budzien would try to figure out the cause for their struggle, but he also reminded us it’s up to us to get the grade we want. Not only did Mr. Budzien encourage students who were not putting forth enough effort, but he also made class fun. I looked forward to Modern Literature because Mr. Budzien made it interesting and he always said or did the unexpected. He would dance, sing, act, or even wear a ring pop during class. This made the period go by fast and gave students a reason to read. Mr. Budzien often emphasized a well-known quote by Mark Twain: “The person who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.”
Outside of school, Mr. Budzien coaches Arrowhead’s golf team, helps at cross country meets, and announces at football games. His involvement in the community portrays the type of person students strive to be. And, they look up to him as a role model. Although I don’t have Mr. Budzien as a teacher anymore, he continues to make an effort to say hi and see how I have been when I run into him in the hallway.
He has been a true inspiration to me as a student and as a teenager. Mr. Budzien deserves to be educator of the year because he has motivated students in the subject he loves and he will continue to do so even after he is done teaching.





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