I would like to submit a nomination for Chris Larson, an excellent English & Journalism teacher at Box Elder High School in Brigham City, UT.
I can’t look back on my high school years without remembering Chris Larson, a quirky, fun and excellent teacher. Mr. Larson was my English teacher my sophomore year. It was that year that Mr. Larson acknowledged that I was a good writer and encouraged me to join the journalism staff. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that someone recognized my writing. I had always loved to write and something came alive in me when Mr. Larson asked me to join the staff.
Mr. Larson was an excellent journalism teacher. He encouraged creativity and never “shot down” our wacky ideas for articles or features for the student newspaper.
It wasn’t only the fundamentals of journalism that Mr. Larson taught me. He taught me lessons of personal responsibility that stay with me today. Mr. Larson’s classroom was one where students liked to congregate to just “hang out” after school or during lunch. I remember many times bringing my lunch up to his classroom to chat with other students. It was a comfortable, fun place to be. A few times I left a couple of my lunch dishes in his classroom and neglected to clean up after myself. Mr. Larson teased me to clean up my dishes, but being the typical teenager, I told him I would and then promptly forgot.
I was disgusted to learn from my younger sister that my dishes were still in Mr. Larson’s classroom…a year after I had graduated from high school. I went back to visit Mr. Larson and laughingly asked him why the dishes were still there. He said, “Well, they were your dishes to clean up, not mine. I figured you’d be back to clean up after yourself eventually.” That lesson has stayed with me in the 10 years since I’ve graduated. I still have those dishes today to remind me of that lesson.
Mr. Larson is a straight shooter and can see through the typical teenager’s excuses and complaining. He’d often say “T.S. Eliot” when we’d complain. It took me awhile to figure out that he wasn’t referring to T.S. Eliot the author. The “T.S.” stood for something else altogether (I’m sure you can use your imagination)!
I went on to become a journalism writer and wrote in many different capacities. I attribute my love of writing to Mr. Chris Larson and I can’t tell you how deserving he is of this award. I believe he is close to retirement and has struggled the last few years with cancer. I would love to see him get this award; I can’t tell you how much he inspired me and my friends.
Thanks for your consideration!