sophomore Rashmika Goswami thought she was a good writer, until she met Allyson Robinson.
"She was one of my teachers who really never let me settle for okay writing," Goswami said after Tuesday's Superintendent's Awards breakfast. "Now I judge everything I do more carefully, instead of thinking everything I do is good."
The story is typical of the tributes all 21 middle and high school student honorees paid to their teachers. But the event focused on the students, who were selected based on academic excellence, as well as their involvement in school and community.
"Today is about recognizing the special light in our nominees," Farmington school board chair Sheilah Clay said. "You have worked hard to achieve great heights, and you understand service ... You are a shining example of what's right in the world."
The event was also a reminder, Supt. Susan Zurvalec said, "that the success of any individual student is the result of many dedicated people, especially the teachers (the students) have chosen to honor." Those teachers, she said, have gone the extra mile and "never, ever give up on a child, even when a student has given up on themselves."
Harrison High junior Peter Romero chose to honor music teacher Tom Schroeder.
"He's supported me in my musical career, and he's been an all-around cool guy," Romero said.
"I'm moved, and I do so appreciate this, because it shows the kind of kid he is," Schroeder said of the honor. "He appreciates people ... and he always does his best."
Like Clay and Zurvalec, Schroeder was impressed by all of the students who were honored.
"If they're doing this now," he said, "what are they going to be like 10 or 20 or 30 years from now? It's inspiring me to keep going and doing what I do."
These students were honored:Name School Grade Charlotte Bednarski 8 Jacob Bur 12 Alyssa Dsouza 8 Rashmika Goswami Harrison High 10 Benjamin Jozwiak Dunckel Middle School 8 Yeabsera Kebede 10 Noah Krasman North Farmington High 11 Taylor Lombard East Middle School 8 Mollie McCarthy Farmington High 12 Camelia Metwally North Farmington High 10 Peter Romero Harrison High 11 Chelsey Schade 12 Madison Selinsky Dunckel Middle School 8 Elizabeth Shrosbree North Farmington High 9 Evan Smith Harrison High 12 Amber Stephens East Middle School 8 Eloise Taha Dunckel Middle School 8 Madeline Trevisan East Middle School 8 Robert VanAartsen Farmington High 9 Ashirvad Varma Harrison High 9 Jane Xiao Farmington High 11
Teachers honored were Mark Azeez, Mary Sheltrown and Kelly Boyd of Farmington High; Julie Burton, Carol Sethi, Ninoska Wiltse and Mike Ehinger of East Middle; James Common, Mike Lantzy and Ryan Potter of Dunckel Middle; Steve Dail, Allyson Robinson and Tom Schroeder of Harrison High; Terri Haas of Farmington Central; Vadia Hermiz, Jeff Simpson, Michael Yoskovich and Erika Rust of North Farmington; Theresa Walsh of ; Christine Wilson of .