Congratulations to OH English teacher Sam Abbott for receiving an "Outstanding Educator Award" from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance organizes the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and last weekend (Feb. 13) presented a virtual awards program. Mr. Abbott was one of three teachers from northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio selected in the Writing Category.
Mr. Abbott, who joined the teaching staff at the Junior/Senior High School last year, was one of 120 educators from 77 schools eligible. The Writing Category was new this year, joining an existing one honoring art teachers. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, a regional affiliate of the Alliance, provided a gift card to online retailer Bookshop to the Writing Category honorees.
“Receiving this award was an emotional experience for me not because of the honor itself but because of what my students said about me,” Mr. Abbott said. “I care deeply about our kids - not just their reading, writing, critical-thinking, and analysis skills we build in class but their happiness and personal growth as well.”
“To put it simply, our students give me so much life and energy every day. So, when I hear about what I am able to give them as their teacher, it brings our collaborative relationships full-circle and reminds me of why I became a teacher in the first place,” he added. “I am so fortunate to be able to collaborate with our students at Ottawa Hills everyday. I am so proud to be their teacher.”
Broadcast on YouTube, regional awards ceremony also included OH junior Natalie Timmerman discussing her writing. She was one of five students to receive an American Voices award and is now eligible for the national competition. Congratulations to Mr. Abbott and Natalie!
“With Mr. Abbott’s help, I’ve grown as a writer in ways I could never have imagined myself growing,” said Natalie. “I’ve experienced years’ worth of progress in months, and I am certainly not the only one. I watched my classmates progress with me. I’ve watched most of their voices grow, I’ve watched their passions and confidence grow, too.”
“Mr. Abbott, my English educator, unknowingly, is a gardener,” added junior Bazil Frueh, who also was recognized last month during the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. “Every day when my peers and I walk into class and take our seats, Mr. Abbott is able to plant seeds within our moldable minds, water them to perfection, and create a flourishing garden.”