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Nominate a Teacher Contest

Your Favorite Teacher-Story

Congratulations to our winners - nominee Lynn Boorady, Chair and Associate Professor, Fashion and Textile Technology, nominated by senior Rachel Hamerski! 

Thank you to all students who celebrated the Year of the Teacher by sharing a personal teacher-story!

About the Contest

Students were invited to nominate a K-12 teacher or college professor by, in 200 words or less, sharing how a teacher made a positive impact on his or her life.

Online nomination forms were collected February 10-24. A committee reviewed the entries and finalists were selected for voting by the entire campus. The campus community was invited to cast votes from March 10-17 to determine the winner.

The student whose teacher receives the most votes will win an IPAD MINI. The teacher nominated will receive a plaque honoring them in a ceremony with the Dean of Education.

Sponsored by the Student Life Office, the Career Development Center, and the School of Education Office of the Dean, this contest is open to all currently enrolled full-time undergraduate and graduate Buffalo State students.

For more information, email Stephanie Zuckerman-Aviles.

 The Top Ten Essays

WINNER! Lynn Boorady: Buffalo State, Department of Fashion Textile & Technology Nominated by Rachel Hamerski
Dr. Lynn Boorady, associate professor and chair of the Fashion Textile & Technology, has made a positive impact on my college career. She has displayed encouragement, willingness to help her students and passion about her field in fashion textile and technology.  The opportunities brought upon in my college career would not have been possible without her offered help, meaningful advice, and related experience. For example, I had the opportunity to become an ambassador for Cotton University. Dr. Lynn Boorady became my mentor in this venture. There was planning, organizing, and the spread of information to be dealt with in this project. As part of my ambassadorship, the event I coordinated would not have happened without her letting me know how to organize catering, advertising, and planning the event on the Buffalo State College campus. Dr. Boorady has been involved in numerous campus activities such as, our campus fashion show – “Runway 7.0”, bringing opportunities in the classroom, and Cotton Inc. grants/projects. She is the one who pushed me to become the student and young professional I am today. I am proud to nominate her as she would do the same for me as being a potential candidate for an employer.

Daniel Blum: Buffalo State, Department of History & Social Studies
Nominated by Justin Schulman
From his teaching methods, eccentric advise, and the way he makes his students think outside the box - Professor Blum, very much deserves to be nominated for teacher of the year.  I was first introduced to Mr.Blum as a freshmen entering into a new atmosphere, with an underdeveloped mind. I had several unanswered questions, and even more strange concerns. The first day of class, Blum asked his students to take off our shoes, socks, jewelry and hats. Without hesitation, my peers and I started to undress. Professor Blum stopped us all, and questioned why not at least one of us asked him why. That was the moment I knew he would be a great teacher. What I taught was going to be a fun ice breaker, turned into a lesson. ASK QUESTIONS! ALWAYS! He was one of the first professors to care and want to see how his students think; he wanted to see our brains working! I left his classes wishing they were longer. He creates a environment where the student walks away with more than what was intended to be taught. A positive role model, great thinker and good person - Professor Daniel Blum, Teacher of the Year.

Joi Chimera: Kenmore Middle School
Nominated by Maya McGee
Mrs. Chimera (formerly Miss Merrill) was my sixth grade homeroom, English and Math teacher. Mrs. Chimera is one of the main reasons why I became inspired to pursue a teaching career. By putting all her effort into her teaching and lesson planning, she helped to make school more interesting. Mrs. Chimera had a strong yet approachable personality that I couldn't help but look up to. I admired her organizational skills, and I use many of those techniques to this day. Mrs. Chimera's classroom was always beautifully decorated to fit the unit of study, along with her Yankee decorations. She cared deeply for her students and was extremely helpful in every way possible. Looking back on my different teachers throughout schooling, Mrs. Chimera is the first teacher that comes to mind. This is because of her profound impact and endless ways to keep us motivated and excited to learn.

V Anthony DiRienzo: Buffalo State, Writing Program
Nominated by Timothy Tate
I had Professor DiRienzo for College Writing 102. The class teaches how to develop an argument through the use of rhetoric. However, he taught more than that. For me Professor DiRienzo taught me to question and interpret the world, not just take what I'm fed from the media as pure fact. He also opened my mind to explore the way I persuade others as leader. As a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and current member of the U.S. Marine Corps reserve, I'm often given the responsibility to motivate young people, who come from diverse backgrounds. The use of the right words and methods to motivate them to accomplish a mission, at times is not a simple as, "go do this..." Using the correct rhetoric and presenting the argument to Marines, in a manner that maintains the Corps value of Integrity, has become a much easier task thanks to the teachings of Professor DiRienzo. He taught us to not only apply these skills from lecture in our class work, but apply them to make a difference in the lives of others. This not only makes an impact on my life, or those of his students, but the lives of many.

Kirsten Eurenius: Buffalo State, Department of Chemistry
Nominated by Bethany Person
When I entered the field of chemistry I was partial to how interested I was in the subject matter. I felt that there were many job opportunities and it was nothing more than boring hard work with a future of massive annual revenue.  I was then introduced to a teacher by the name of Kirsten Eurenius. She opened my eyes to the beauties of chemistry, organic chemistry especially. She made me feel like more than just a student but a friend and a chemist. I felt that she was unappreciated as a lecturer and lab teacher.  She provided beautiful recommendations for me and other students which returned positive results every time. She inspired to me to pursue a career in organic chemistry and was always willing to take my questions no matter how annoying or excessive they may have been. If anyone deserves recognition she does. She is not only a great mother to her own but she also a mother to her students. Professor Eurenius is dedicated, loves her job, and is beyond knowledgeable of her subject matter. I have to say she changed my life for the better and my future is clearer to me.

David Henry: Buffalo State, Department of Elementary Education & Reading
Nominated by Laura Imperiale
Dr. Henry teaches the course EDU 312 at Buffalo State College. I have known Dr. Henry since the Fall of 2013 and I must say, he is by far the most inspirational professor I have ever met.  Before taking this required course, I seriously contemplated in dropping the Combined Childhood Education Major. Since I was little, my two least favorite subjects were math and science.  However, after taking this class with Dr. Henry, I now have a better outlook and appreciation for these two subjects. He taught me how to make learning fun.   I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but there always was doubt in my mind if I was going to be "good enough." Dr. Henry always reassured me, which makes a great teacher truly inspiring.  He believed in me and gave me encouraging advice to keep me motivated and enthused.  I have never met a teacher who actually grades lesson plans on "exceeding expectations." Excellent teachers, like Dr. Henry, look deep into a student's work and find something meaningful to share with the world. He inspired me to believe in myself and be aware that I will impact others, just like he impacted mine. 

Lorna Hill: Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts
Nominated by Alexis D’Amico
Lorna Hill was my theatre teacher for four years in high school and continues to be my inspiration, teacher, as well as family forever. She showed me that theatre was apart of everyday life and her techniques allowed me to find the greatest form of self expression through theatre. Lorna Hill opened up the first African-American theatre company in buffalo called "Ujima". She has shown me the beauty of all races coming together to ultimately make the world a better place. She promotes unity within the buffalo community and turns her students into leaders. Lorna Hill has also taught me how to be comfortable with who I am and let it shine. The goal of an actor is not only to give a great performance but by doing so by humbling oneself and not being afraid to look stupid. Because of Ms. Hill I have great courage and confidence in myself and am able to public speak without nerves getting in the way. Out of all of the women as well as teachers I've ever had Lorna Hill will always be remembered the most because she didn't just teach me the basics, instead she taught me everything she knew!

Russel Lis: McKinley High School
Nominated by Vanessa Pereira
Coming from a rough area, the West Side of Buffalo and growing up in a home with a single parent,I went into high school not knowing what I was capable of. I was scared to open up and grab a name for myself. It wasn't until I walked into Mr. Lis Aquatic Ecology class, that my life changed forever. Mr. Lis saw the potential in me and opened up this new world to me. The environmental world. He pushed me to get good grades, and to reach for the stars's even when I felt like giving up. He taught me to love animals and the world around me. He showed me my worth and the many opportunities available to me being a Hispanic women. Not only did he push me in high school, but he is the reason I went to college and will be graduating May 17th 2014!. When classes got tough, I would call him in tears and he would guide me through it and tell me to reach out for help and to relax. 200 words is not enough for me to even tell you about this amazing teacher, he has remained my motivator for 8 years!

John Steckstor: Attica Central
Nominated by Kaylee Melven
It was my senior year in high school, and Mr. Steckstor's Government/Economics class was my last class of the day. It was my very last high school class ever. I was struggling with things going on at home, and my thoughts of the future didn't feel very promising. At one point, I broke down crying in school it got so bad, coming from a girl who NEVER cries in public. Mr. Steckstor talked to me one day and said that I made the hallways glow because I was so happy all the time. He reastablished my aspirations of becoming a high school teacher. He's not only hilarious, but he's down to earth with everyone. Students can be honest with him because they know that he's their friend. He's my friend. He changed my life and to this day encourages me to keep going. The last class, he had a power point on how we as people could achieve our dreams. He cried as he spoke, and we cried too. As all of us walked out to the final bell, he hugged us and smiled. John Steckstor is a teacher that CARES. Teachers like him stay in your heart forever.

Tamara Hollowell: Allegany-Limestone High School
Nominated by Katherine Maguire
Mrs. Hollowell is the sole reason that I have any joy in math. She was my tenth grade geometry teacher, and my favorite teacher of my secondary education career. Mrs. Hollowell always took the time to make sure that I understood what was happening in class, as I greatly dislike math. Her room was always open to me so that I could go in and work out my homework on her board, or ask her questions. These questions were not always math related, but it didn't matter, Mrs. Hollowell was always willing to give me advice and help. She gave me references for college, and encouragement in all aspects of my life. She was my favorite teacher because she truly cared about me as a person, and cared about helping me to understand, not just to pass. She is a teacher that deserves to be recognized for outstanding commitment to education, and to her students.