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Jim Albers • Environmental Science • Arrowhead High School MAG
As a senior, college loomed in the back of my mind like a fog. Deciding what to do with my future scared me. I desperately needed a helping hand, a person who could guide me in the right direction. My environmental science teacher, Mr. Albers, was the light that helped guide me down my path.
The way he teaches his class, the way he interacts with students, and the way he cares about every individual – these are some of the qualities that make Mr. Albers such an inspiration. I loved walking into his room and being welcomed by him – a tall, incredibly jolly man, who lit up the room with his smile.
He always has a joke or story to tell and is known as one of the most entertaining, relatable, and funny teachers in the school. He is one of those people everyone knows and loves.
Mr. Albers starts class by telling us about a current environmental issue or event in the news. One day, we discussed how Nashotah Park (a park near my house) would be letting people hunt on the land that year. After class, I was still curious about it, so I talked to Mr. Albers. He gave me more information and told me there would be a meeting in Nashotah Park that night to discuss it. I decided to attend the meeting and convinced my grandpa to take me.
That night, I sat in a building for about an hour with 30 angry townsfolk, debating whether deer should be hunted in the park. I wanted to get involved with my community, and now I was seeing it unfold before my eyes.
Afterward, I thought about two things: how exciting it was and how excited I was to talk to Mr. Albers about it the next day.
I told him, “So, I ended up going to that meeting at Nashotah park …”
He dropped what he was doing and asked, “Really? That’s awesome! What was it like?”
I stayed after class discussing the experience and he ended up having to write me a pass because I was late for my next class. This was something I wasn’t used to. I have always been so passionate about environmental science, but I can count the number of people who share that interest with me on one hand. It was like a breath of fresh air to be able to talk with someone who shared my passion.
I became close with Mr. Albers throughout the next two semesters. I talked with him after class almost every day in order to learn more. The best part was he loved talking to me too. Now in my senior year, I still chat with him in the halls and recommend his classes to my friends.
When the time came around to apply to colleges, I needed a letter of recommendation, I knew Mr. Albers would be the perfect teacher to ask.
I wrote him an email asking for a letter, explaining how his class inspired me to go to Stevens Point, a school know for its environmental science program. He agreed to write it right away. When I got the letter back, I was nearly in tears. He wrote about how I was one of his best students, how much I loved learning about the environment, and how I would be a perfect fit for Stevens Point. I’ve re-read that letter about 100 times. It was like getting complimented by a celebrity and I couldn’t stop smiling.
When I got the news that I was accepted, I quickly sought out Mr. Albers to tell him. Seeing his face light up, his smile grow, and hearing his exclamation, ¨Congratulations!¨ made the experience even better.
Mr. Albers is the best teacher I have ever had, and he taught the best class I have ever taken. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in environmental science, but he inspired me to take that to another level – to do research on jobs in the field, to know about current events, and to get involved with my community. His advice and his personal interest in my future and goals helped me get into the college of my dreams. My future used to be the fog that clouded my mind, but Mr. Albers helped to bring clarity into my life and inspired me to follow my passion.