By: Tallise Gaston & Caylee Park, The Plaid Staff Writers
Alyssa Mendoza’s submission into the Barnes and Noble’s “My Favorite Teacher of the Year” has earned, ninth and tenth grade English teacher, Marc Alzamora, the title for 2017. He is greatly admired by his students for his dedication to his academic career.
Mr. Alzamora has been teaching for 21 years. Mr. Alzamora got his first start in a classroom, when he had the opportunity to take an elective program that provided students the chance to gain experience in fields they wanted to pursue after they graduated. His first lesson was taught at his old elementary school in his former teacher’s classroom. Alzamora visited Frick Middle School in Pennsylvania. “I went every Tuesday and Thursday. One day in particular, the teacher asked if I wanted to teach The Lord of the Flies lesson. I watched her first; then, I went up, and taught the second lesson. After I was done with the lesson, she came up to me and said she was very impressed.” Alzamora said about the experience, “I found [teaching] intriguing.” From there, he went to become a teacher assistant and watch other educators conduct their lessons. His experiences as an assistant teacher established his passion for teaching.
Mendoza’s submission caught more than Barnes and Noble’s attention. Alzamora said, “I wasn’t aware I was even nominated. When they came in my classroom and told me I had won, I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say.” It is no surprise that he was nominated. Many students and teachers would agree that Alzamora does his job very well. He does everything from volunteering at school events to helping his students one on one. “I think I contribute to the school by doing my job to the best of my ability,” Alzamora said.
In addition to his devotion to academics, he also has a strong devotion to each of his students. “My students understand that I am firm but also fair and friendly. I treat them with class, dignity, and respect. My students also know how much I value education and want them to succeed.”
Upon winning this award, one might expect his attitude and drive towards his job affected. However, Alzamora thinks otherwise and said, “I am beyond honored to receive the recognition, but it will not affect my capability to do my job. It won’t change the way I treat my students or the effort I put into my job. I work my butt off, and that will not change.”
His continual efforts to improve the lives and education of his students shines through in all he does. He has a special place in the hearts of the students and faculty who he has impacted. He will continue to be honored and remembered for his dedication to his job and the effort put forth in doing so.