Bridgeton High School
I would like to nominate Zachery Sminkey. I thought this would be a wonderful way to honor a teacher who gives so much of himself, year after year, to his students. Zack’s mother was also a teacher. She had cancer but taught through her battle until her passing. \\ I believe her courage taught Zack that despite personal troubles you can still give of yourself to others. Losing his mother at a young age slowed his entry in to teaching. However, he still gave to teenagers, working for 7 years as a residential youth counselor while in college. Now as a teacher, when Zack teaches, he aims to teach to the whole student. He teaches lesson that teach students to be caring, and challenges them to think. Zack is able to teach through a lens of compassion because he walked through his pain, acknowledged his passion and pursued his dream. After having loved, lost, and battled with grief that no one should have to experience at such a young age, Zack did not give up, became a teacher, and continues to try and inspire his students. Zack has also found other ways to encourage others, recently raising $6,000 for the troops by co-creating and selling a fan calendar for a shirt company. Zack deserves to be recognized.