Alvarez’s essay honors Matt Hundley
April 18, 2012
Filed under Features
“Someone once said, ‘to teach is to touch lives forever.’” Senior Veronica Alvarez recently used those words in an essay she wrote about her favorite teacher, Matt Hundley, HHS sophomore English teacher. Alvarez entered Barnes and Noble’s “My Favorite Teacher” contest. Her essay was chosen for the local winner and qualifies to be entered in the regional essay contest.
“He is the reason that I will never feel different and I will never feel like just because I am a different race and I speak a different language than 98 percent of everyone in my school, I am still special,” Alvarez wrote.
In her essay, Alvarez mentions how much Hundley has impacted her life. But she is quick to point out that she did not enter the contest for the prizes or recognition.
“The most rewarding thing for me,” Alvarez said, “is just being able to see how people can come together and write many wonderful things about their teachers. Teachers are, most times, not appreciated enough and taken advantage of. This contest allows them to get that much needed praise that they deserve. Whether I win or lose at regionals, I am very happy and proud to say that I didn’t do it to win anything. I simply did it as a way to say thank you to Mr. Hundley for all that he has done for me and no matter what the prize, it will never be able to compete with that.”
Hundley felt honored to be the subject of the essay.
“There are many things I have appreciated about Veronica,” he said. “She is a terrific person, very kind and respectful to everyone. She is also an excellent student; she works hard and is very conscientious about doing quality work. It has been a pleasure to teach her.”
Principal Rod Wittmer expressed his pride in both Alvarez and Hundley.
“Mr. Hundley has a true passion to help students learn the expected outcomes and sees education as a journey for his students,” Wittmer said. “Veronica is a responsible, caring, trustworthy, and committed student. She exemplifies every word we have on our CATS Poster.”
Alvarez, who received her award at Barnes and Noble in Topeka on Saturday, April 21, said, “Mr. Hundley has touched my life in a way that no teacher ever has. His passion for his students and his positive outlook on life lead me to believe that people like Mr. Hundley are the ones that can be called special teachers who can change a student’s life forever.”
Veronica Alvarez’s Essay appears below:
A Teacher Never Forgotten
Someone once said that, “to teach is to touch lives forever.” There are moments when in the blink of an eye weeks have gone by. There are moments when you turn to look around and you feel like you are just drowning in a glass of water, with all that is going on. It is in these moments in which people leave their footprints embedded in your life. I will never forget a very important set of footprints that have been embedded into my life. The most courageous man in the world left these set of footprints. My teacher. Mr. Matthew Hundley.
I have had Mr. Hundley as a teacher three times in my life. Each of those three times I have come to admire him more and more. Mr. Hundley has been a teacher who has taught me so much more then English, Speech, and Drama. He has taught me that in life you must stand up for what you believe, even if you are the only one standing alone. He has defended so many people in the world without any of them knowing it. He is the reason that I will never feel different and I will never feel like just because I am a different race and I speak a different language than 98% of everyone in my school, I am still special.
In my school people have often times said hurtful things simply out of ignorance. They have criticized groups of people that they have never even gotten to know. Every single time that someone has said an ignorant comment, every time that someone has made another person unknowingly feel bad in this world, Mr. Hundley has been there to defend that person no matter who they are, or what they look like.
Mr. Hundley makes teaching English into a journey of discovery. Mr. Hundley is always reminding people of the greatness they have within themselves. He looks at every student as a bright light in the tunnel of life. He has hopes and aspirations for each one of us. You can always expect to find Mr. Hundley standing outside of his classroom greeting every single person in the hallways with a smile. He will always be there every passing period. I actually have come to believe that Mr. Hundley is an energizer bunny that never stops smiling. I know that twenty years from now I will always remember high school as one of the greatest times of my life.
However, the most important thing that I will remember are the memories of Mr. Hundley defending me like no other teacher ever had before. He has touched my life in a way that no teacher ever has. His passion for his students and his positive outlook on life lead me to believe that people like Mr. Hundley are the ones that can be called special teachers who can change a student’s life forever.
Veronica Alvarez, Grade 12
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