Honoring Our Teachers Essay Contest Runners-Up
May 5, 2019 • Savanna Kearney

This spring, the St. Augustine Catholic sponsored an essay contest for students in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs. The contest was created to not only recognize our students writing abilities but to honor our teachers.

Participating in the essay contest were students in elementary grades, middle schools, and high schools. We selected a winner and runner up for each category. The winning essays can be found in the May/June issue of the St. Augustine Catholic, and below are the essays of the runners-up. Read below to find out how these students’ lives are impacted by their teacher.

Elementary School Runner-up

By Lucas Clemons-Kirby, 3rd grade, Annunciation Catholic School

Mrs. Freitag is my favorite teacher because to me, she is the best one I’ve ever had. Her classroom is very neat, and I like that she let me sit in the very back so I could see the entire board. She let our class have extra recess when we worked very hard. She allowed me to move around or run special notes to other teachers when I need a break. I think she is one of the best teachers because she lets her students play during dismissal and does not yell when student get in trouble. At the end of every day, she let my best friend and I play because we were the last students to be picked up. I think I might be her favorite student because she smiled at me every day and was very kind. Even now, she asks how my day is going. Even though teachers aren’t supposed to have a favorite student, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a favorite teacher, and Mrs. Freitag is mine.

Middle School Runner-up

By James Register, 7th grade, St. Paul Catholic School Riverside

Cool teachers are pretty hard to come by. In my years before I reached middle school, not once have I ever found a really cool teacher. Now I’m not saying the teachers before were bad. I’m just saying that they were lacking in the wow department until I reached sixth grade and met my homeroom teacher…

Mr. O’Connell.

Mr. O’Connell wasn’t cool. No, he was downright RAD! Not only does this man know about pop culture and memes and stuff, he also knows how to rock an Albert Einstein tie! His name is pretty cool and wonky, and he tells the best/worst dad puns! Let me just explain how his dad puns work. Have you ever heard of “so bad it’s good?” That is his puns in a nutshell!

So do you see what we’re dealing with here? This man has already surpassed cool and has now moved on to rad. A word which only describes the things in the world that make cool lose its meaning. Well, slip on your hazmat suit because it just gets radder! Get it? Because you need a hazmat to… okay, I’ll stop. Anyway, some other really dope things Mr. O’Connell does is that he lets us tell jokes… during class. That’s like… MEGARAD! Now you’re probably wondering how in the world do we get work done? Well even though you probably aren’t wondering that, Mr. O’Connell taught us, or at least me, when to time my jokes. Now I can stop getting in trouble in class, yay!

What separates Mr. O’C (Mr. O’Connell’s nickname) from other teachers is that he can fuse his jokes with learning! So that makes class even more entertaining, but Mr. O’C’s teaching is already pretty interesting on its own. I mean, he made me actually comprehend science! So now we know that Mr. O’C can do the impossible.

So now how can this man get any more amazing? Two words: pet cactus. Yes, you heard me right. Mr. O’C has a pet cactus named Kevin. You will not find that ANYWHERE else. My brain is imploding from his savagery!

Now he still has to teach us and that means we need to be respectful. As I just mentioned a bit ago, I used to blurt out random garbage constantly and that got me in trouble a lot, but because of Mr. O’Connell teaching me when to time my jokes, I don’t blurt out much anymore! This also lets me develop my jokes a little more!

Anyway, that’s why I think Mr. O’Connell is the best teacher this year! He’s funny, he’s smart, and he’s overall a good teacher! I mean, I don’t have any other teachers that make classes as interesting as he does! On top of that, Mr. O’C treats us like good friends! I am more than glad that God let Mr. O’C teach at St. Paul’s Riverside!


High School Runner-up

By Andrew Tabor, 9th grade, Bishop Kenny High School

I was inspired to write an essay about my coach, Bobby Raulerson.

The first time I met Coach Raulerson was in the summer of seventh grade. Every summer he holds a football camp for all kids who are planning to come to Bishop Kenny. The first day he gave us a message. In that message, he told us to go home and tell our parents that we love them. I did not think much of it at the time, but he was setting up the future of many kids.

This freshman year I had the opportunity to be on a football team with him as the head coach. Little did I know, Coach Raulerson was going to be my biggest mentor. He taught me both on the field and off the field how to become a man. Through the game of football, he taught us how to love one another. He taught me how to be part of a team. Coach taught me many life lessons.

Coach Raulerson preaches for what he believes in, which is his faith. He makes sure to pray after every practice with the team. He incorporates religion into the game of football. Coach once said, “Remember, faith comes before everything. Having a connection with the man upstairs is more important than anything. After faith comes school, and after school comes family. After you focus on those things, then come sports.” He was a football coach, and he said that sports come last. As a football coach, they prioritize and focus on that sport, but not Coach Raulerson. Coach was more interested in developing the young men on his football team. He believed that developing the relationships with all of his players was important. He made sure to bring up several times that we were family.

Coach Raulerson’s relationship with me has come a long way. Throughout the year he has been there to check in. This freshman year has been tough for me, and he has been there to guide me throughout everything. He has given me advice on life, school, and even my family. Every other week we have a face-to-face meeting. We talk about what has been happening in my life, if I have any struggles or not, how my grades are, and how my friendships are. He makes sure to check in on me because he loves every one of his players like a son.

I’m so thankful for Coach Raulerson. He has helped me and my family through many things. He is one of my biggest role models, and I strive to be like him every day. He has been nothing but loving, caring and humbling for me. He always focuses on the positive things in life. He has touched and has changed me, which has made me become a better person. I don’t know where I would be without him.