Winning instructors are Javier Martinez, who teaches English and creative writing at Northbrook High School, and Megan Wooten, a kindergarten teacher at Terrace Elementary School. A former student and two parents nominated them. Both attended and had sideline passes for the Sept. 7 Texans-Washington game. Each received a Brian Cushing autographed jersey during campus presentations.
|Javier Martinez, English Teacher at Northbrook High School (Pictured: 3rd From Left)|
At Northbrook High, Defensive End Jamison told a student group that his own path to a NFL Dream took more than high athletic ability and incredible brawn. “I struggled in high school,” he told students. “I learned in my senior year that I’d need to earn all A’s because I had not done well enough as a freshman.”
A professional football player today needs brains and brawn, he said. Players now must study hours of game films, as well as memorize opposing team strategy and tactics on a weekly basis. “You separate yourself today by how smart you are.
I really need to be smart to outmaneuver and to out think the person standing opposite me,” Jamison said. Northbrook High English teacher Javier Martinez was nominated by senior Kevin Cruz, who was enrolled in Martinez’s English III class last year. Kevin took home a signed football for his winning nomination.
“He brings charisma to class like no one else. He’s unmatched,” Kevin said of his former teacher. “He greets us at the door each day. He’s straight forward. ‘You’ll have work to do here, but I’ll do the work with you.’ He’s more like a friend than traditional teacher,” he added. Martinez, dressed in a suit and tie, was shocked by all the attention.
“We all teach students, and we don’t know what will happen when they walk out the door. This feels good,” he said. At Terrace Elementary, Jamison took time to talk with kindergartners about how important school will be in their lives.
“Listen to your parents and teachers. They want you to do your best, and to be the best that you can be,” he said. Patsy and Leobardo Mendiola nominated Megan Wooten. They are the parents of kindergartener Leo III, who was feeling a little bashful during the presentation.
Ms. Wooten has taught kindergarten, first- and second-grade at Terrace eight years now. Patsy said that Wooten impressed her by mailing postcards to students before classes even began on Aug. 25. “She wrote ‘Welcome to Kindergarten!” and that was so special. Then, at Meet the Teacher, she was so great. She made our son feel at home,” she said.
|Megan Wooten, Terrace Elementary School Teacher (Pictured: 2nd Row, 2nd from Left)|
“Our teachers need to get credit for what they do. [Ms. Wooten] represents all teachers.” Ms. Wooten figured out quickly what was going on after she was suddenly called out of a lunch to meet school officials near the front office where the presentation was held.
“I was surprised. I was kind of nervous when I heard that my students were all up here and gathered. That’s not a normal for a teacher to hear,” she said.