What do 'they' say about Mrs. J?

“Though it seems that I have pretty much said it all in my many thank you letters, there are no words to describe what you mean to me.  I look at you not just as a teacher, but as a friend and, most of all, a person to look up to.  Your incredible perspective on the world around you inspires me to be a better person. Just recently, you told me “everything happens for a reason.”  It is this very attitude that makes you so inspiring; from your motivational speeches to your uplifting spirit, you never fail to lighten the mood.  These past three years of working with you have been the best three years of my life and if I could repeat them at any time, I would in a heartbeat. You have inspired me to grow as both a student, and a person and I will now strive for my goals with you in my mind—no—with you in my heart. Your inspiration will continue to motivate me throughout my life and will continue to remind me of the incredible accomplishments that without you, I would not have been able to achieve. There is honestly nothing that I could do that would possibly grant you the gratitude that you deserve.  All I can really do is say thank you.  Thank you for giving me something to look forward to during the last few years.  Thank you for helping me.  Thank you for supporting me.  Thank you for believing in me.  Thank you for everything.”
~Ninth grade Student

“I cannot believe that my EXCEL journey has come to a close.  It is sad to have to say goodbye to middle school and EXCEL, but I can sincerely say it has been an unbelievable trip.  EXCEL has been an absolute pleasure, and it has opened up opportunities that will help me my entire life.  But it hasn’t been so much the actual program, as the teacher is the one who really needs to be thanked.  Mrs. Johnson, your time with me has been incredible.  You are one of the absolute best teachers I have had, but more importantly one of the best mentors and friends I could ask for.  Your persistence in trying to bring the best out in all of us has helped to not only mold all EXCEL students , but it makes us reach our full potential, and your knowledge, support, and kindness has helped me more than you could ever imagine.  Thank you for being such an amazing influence.  I’ll come and visit, of course.”
~Ninth grade student

“Thank you for being the greatest teacher I have ever had.  Thank you for being the most incredible mentor and role model anyone could ask for.  Thank you for being someone I could always come to and talk to and trust.  Thank you for all the amazing memories and experiences and opportunities you’ve given me.  Thank you for helping me see some of what is truly important in life.  Thank you for all the little pieces of advice and wisdom.  Thank you for the important decisions you have helped me make.  Thank you for giving me the tools and skills to succeed in whichever endeavors I pursue. Thank you for challenging me and pushing me to reach my fullest potential.  Thank you for helping me grow into who I am and who I am becoming…the list of thank you’s could probably stretch until infinity, but the most important thing I want to thank you for with the utmost sincerity, is for simply being you.”
~Eighth grade student

“You are someone I admire, respect and love immeasurably.  You’re humbleness, graciousness, and generosity are only a small sampling from the long list of pieces and qualities which make you so incredible.  I can only hope, to one day make the differences for someone’s life as you have made for mine.  You’ve shown me how to be an honest, good person, and one day I hope to acquire the ability to apply these lessons to their greatest extent.”
~Eighth grade student

"I'd like to say thank you. You've helped me so much with EXCEL and also outside of EXCEL. Sometimes I was so worried about whether or not I would be competent enough to make it past regionals, but whether you knew it or not, you helped me past it. EXCEL is a place I've always felt welcome and everyone there is like a second family to me, and I'm so happy that we got to go to States together, as a family. This was by far one of the best years of EXCEL ever."
~Eighth grade student

"Thank you for being my coach this year in Science Olympiad. You were an amazing coach, getting us to States. But the biggest reward this year wasn't States, it is what I learned. I learned work ethic, team work, and problem solving. You were always there at after school sessions and would sacrifice time with your family to help us. Science Olympiad was one of the most fun experiences of my life. It was all possible because of you. Once again, thank you."
~Seventh grade student

"As I look back on my time at Islip, many of my fondest memories were made in the EXCEL Room (especially the little room under the stairs). From Architecture to Inventing Self, Oriental Brushpainting to SciOly, this program has instilled in me the values crucial to my adult life. You have been such an important part of my education as a student, and as a human being. I am so grateful to have been your student."
~Twelvth grade student

"As I prepare to graduate, I am reminded of how meritorious of a teacher you were. Before I leave Islip and go on to college, I want to say how thankful I am for the EXCEL Program and what it has done for me...after becoming a part of the EXCEL program, my whole view on school and effort was completely changed...You helped me grow as both a student and an individual. It was evident that you genuinely cared about your students' sucess and always made learning enjoyable. I made so many memories in the EXCEL program. I remember standing on tables practicing our poems, constructing cardboard dream homes, and analyzing the history and nature of Islip Middle School. To this day I love poetry and I never would have been open to it if we hadn't taken the time to read and write poems ourselves...I will never be able to forget that Frank Lloyd Wright started working on architecture in 1887...I felt important in your classroom and truly believed I could do anything and be anything I put my mind to. You showed me how to believe in myself. Next year I'll be studying elementary education. I hope that one day I can have an impact on other students lives, the same way you had an impact on mine. I truly believe that you and the EXCEL program have helped me become a better student and person. Thank you."
~Twelvth grade student

“You will never really understand how much you have taught me; from your incredible problem solving skills, to your calming words, believe it or not, I have tried my best to internalize it all.  Your invisible positivity rubs off on everyone you meet and I admire that, along with many other attributes, so greatly.”
~Twelvth grade student

“You have always pushed me to do my very best and for that I am eternally grateful.  Though you may not see it, I need you to know that you are an amazing person…over the past 6 years, you have made me feel so special, I can’t even describe it to you with accuracy.  Your endless encouragement gave me the will to work harder than ever before.  Because of you, I learned to always strive to be the best in all that I do, and even if I’m not, you taught me to appreciate and learn from the experiences.  You taught me that it is ok to feel overwhelmed and it is ok to say no every once in a while. You taught me how to work with a team and how to let my knowledge grow and build off of others- the list is simply endless.”
~Twelvth grade student

"Thank you for always pushing our son as much as you would your own child. You have helped along the years to mold him into a young man who holds himself accountable for his actions and understanding that hard work does pay off. We share the same vision - all of us. More parents and more teachers like you can change the world and make it one we can all be proud of. Thank you."
~Eighth grade parent

"What I will miss about EXCEL the most is the room. It's where I can be myself and have lots of fun, while still concentrating on my work. I learned that I'm academic. I really enjoy math and riddles/brain teasers. I've learned that I love putting my mind to the test. But, I will miss EXCEL mostly because of all of the people who supported me."
~Fifth grade student

“I am so appreciative and thankful for all you have done for Brian.  He truly had a difficult year and you were the only professional that heard me but more importantly connected with Brian and got it.  His potential is so great but he lacked the maturity and confidence.  Instead of getting frustrated and giving up on him, you turned it around and worked harder with him.  Showering him with praise and responsibility, allowing him to feel good about himself, wanting to please and striving to succeed.  That speaks volumes for you not only as a professional but as a person.  You have a gift and are a true treasure to the Islip students and community.  We left the program beaming with such pride and joy for Brian.  He was so excited and pleased with himself, his confidence skyrocketed.  Not only do we know he deserved it but more importantly it will have a lasting impact on him as a student and a man.  You touched his life in such a special way and played an important role in his growth and development.  I cannot thank you enough.  Thank you for who you are and thank you for all you have done for Brian.
Love,
Patti Eichner"

"Thank you for another great year with Excel! Matthew loved every minute of it! It's such a pleasure to see him excited and dedicated to learning. The challenge of Excel was truly inspiring.  Paul and I are very pleased with his progress and growth, and we wanted to thank you for inspiring and supporting him!   
All the best,
Dawn Southard"
 

“Congratulations to you and the team! Without your energy, enthusiasm, dedication and great ideas, they could never have pulled it off so well. I hope that your school administration realizes what a rare gem you are for the students. It has been a very great pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best in future competitions.
Best Regards,
 Janine R. Wood Parks, P.E.”

“My wife and I feel very fortunate to have our son attending your class.  He came home very excited on Thursday after school.  It is clear that you already use a lot of Dr. Purkey’s techniques in your class.  Your parent orientation meeting was very impressive.  I really think that this program is going to do so much for Cameron’s development.”
~Charles Germano
Coordinator of K-12 Student Data & Instructional Technology
West Babylon School District

“I just wanted to let you know that Hunter is having a great time so far!  She is very excited to be a part of this program.  Thanks for making it fun!!!”
~Lisa Cairo

“You have awakened some areas in Schuyler I never knew existed.  He has brought insightful conversations to our dinner table from your time with him that it gets the whole family interested in the topics.”
~The Dineen Family

“It is we who are most grateful to you and the EXCEL staff for making our daughter feel so comfortable and so respected in your classroom.  We truly believe that Olivia is so involved and passionate about her work in EXCEL because it is a place where she can go and be herself, and learn, and create, while being treated as an equal.  It is very empowering for her to be able to come into the EXCEL sanctuary you have created for the children and escape the constraints of the ‘school’ environment.  We couldn’t be happier with the EXCEL program and all of the people who make it such a wonderful, rewarding, educational experience”
~Heidi & Bob Carroll

“It’s like you’ve been here for YEARS!  You are so thorough, clear and concise.  You blow ME away!  You are doing so much for the students and I feel that they will definitely enjoy and ‘EXCEL’ their way through the program this year and all years to follow with you in the program”
~Prudence Gubell

“My son LOVED his first EXCEL class and has been talking about it all week long.  Thanks for keeping him excited and motivated.”
~Carol Ann Berger

“Thank YOU for your enthusiasm, knowledge and motivation.  It truly shows.”
~Annette LaRosa

“As you know or maybe you don’t…our daughter is an aspiring actress who does lots and lots of community theatre.  She has told us that for the next few months she wants to put in the time with the EXCEL challenges rather than the theatre.  WOW this is something new!!  You must really have it together to impress her that much that she would give up her true love for SCIENCE??  All we can say is Thank God and Thank Mrs. Johnson! Bravo to you and keep up the good work and thank you so much for your dedication”
~Jane  Turner

“I wanted to take a minute to thank you for reiterating a lesson I have been teaching my daughters for some time now.  It is so nice when a full circle is completed between home and school.  My daughter tells me that there was a ‘bonus buck’ mistakenly left in her possession, when she found it she tried to return it to you.  You told her she could keep it for being honest, reinforcing that honesty is the best policy.  While this incident may have seemed insignificant to you at the time, I must tell you that it has left a big impression on her and I do appreciate it.  I completely expected her to learn academically while in EXCEL, I am just as glad to know that she also had a lesson in ethics! Thank you!”
~Wendy Conway

“Thank you Mrs. Johnson for all of your hard work and dedication. We (her parents) really appreciate the opportunities you have given Elizabeth through Excel, we know that she is benefiting more than she even realizes. I feel strongly  about the dedication, organization and heart it takes to put something like the Science Olympiad together.  Bravo to you and your team.  Thank you!”
~Rosemarie Antonelli

“I hope all is going well. I just wanted to tell you that Trevor came home from school today so excited. He enjoyed unleashing his creativity with the Chinese brush painting project. He already had the prawn hanging in his room by the time I came home.  Keep up the good work.”
~Jean Uher

“I wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience for Patrick.  This year with EXCEL seems to have ignited a spark in him for school. He always looked forward to Thursdays.  I also enjoyed the Conference for Kids.  Thank you for that opportunity as well.  Thank you for a wonderful year and experience. We hope you enjoy your summer.”
~Jeanne Mugan

"Thank you again for all you did for Julia.  I'm hoping next year Julia will become even more involved with EXCEL, you ran a wonderful program.  Thank you and enjoy your summer."
~Joan and Ken Donahue

"EXCEL is like my second home. With you as a teacher, I know I can walk in and express myself and be relaxed. You answered every question I had, and always were so kind, no matter how many times I asked. Thank you again for everything and for giving me such excellent guidance. You've helped me make school and life decisions, and every time you were right. You are an awesome teacher and an unbelievable person. Thanks again."
~Eighth grade student

“Thank you so much for being a huge part in our lives.  Without you, so many students would not know their full potential in school and in life. ..You have made my life so much more exciting because now I know how to look at the world at many different angles. ..You have put a well-liked spin in all of our lives, and I thank you for all that you have done for me.  I will miss you in the upcoming years, but don’t expect me to be gone for long, because you have watched me grow up, and you are a part of my life.”
~Ninth grade student

“I had a fantastic time in EXCEL.  Science Olympiad was fantastic, and although we worked hard to accomplish our goals, it was your dedication, support, and help that led to our success.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you!”
~Ninth grade student

“Oh, where to start.  There are no words to describe the time that I had this year. ..Science Olympiad has been one of the greatest experiences of my life thanks to you. ..you were always there to support me when I took on new challenges and always recognized the small things I did.  I could never thank you enough for all of the love and support that you have given me. ..I can promise you that all that you have done for me will never be forgotten and because of that, you will always be in my heart as the teacher who changed my life.  You have always told me to never change; now it’s my turn.  Never change, Mrs. J, and you will continue to touch lives like you have touched me own.”
~Ninth grade student

"This year has been such a life changing experience with all of the big challenges that came my way. This year was also my favorite because I was able to overcome my challenges with your help. Having you as my teacher was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. Throughout life you are bound to meet a lot of amazing people, but unfortunately, you will almost always forget most of them. I can guarantee that you will be one of those poeple that I will always keep in my heart. I don't know how I am going to make it next year without seeing your smiling face everyday. Thank you so much for all the things that you taught me and all of the joy that you brought me. Have a great summer and I am really going to miss you. Love Always,"
~Eighth grade student

"I just wanted to say that what you said earlier today really touched my heart and I can't thank you enough. It is so great to hear someone say that they appreciate my good doings. To tell you the truth, I don't know why but small things like that are what make me happy. I really appreciate what you said about me and I won't ever forget it. It most definitely made my week. P.S. You made me this way."
~Ninth grade student

"Let me just say, you are the best EXCEL Teacher ever! You helped me learn and grow so much! It was such a great experience to get this far...after all of the hard work, everything paid off. Without you, we would never have been able to achieve so much."
~Seventh grade student

"The entire team owes our success to you. You are the one who pushed us to do better...You guided us onto the path to success. Thank you so much for devoting your time to us...Thank you so much for being the best teacher."
~Eighth grade student

"I can't even think of where to begin when I write this letter. From motivating me to succeed, to calming me down with your wonderful yoga, you are the key to this teams' success. I have done things I never thought I would be able to do, learned things I never would have otherwise, and had fun the whole time."
~Seventh grade student

“If you listen when you are in Mrs. Johnson’s class you can have a bunch of fun and learn A LOT!!”
~Fifth grade student

“Thank you for being my EXCEL Teacher.  All the great activities we did: Chinese brush painting, the poetry reading, and the field trip, were some of the best times of my life.  Thank you for making these times so happy.”
~Fourth grade student

“In Mrs. Johnson’s class, you always have to be ready to have fun and you always have to be positive, because no one, especially Mrs. Johnson, likes a kid who looks at the glass half empty. Most importantly, you should always do your best, because that’s all Mrs. Johnson will ever ask for.”
~Fifth grade student

“If you give Mrs. Johnson 100%, she will give you 110% back!”
~Seventh grade student

“Today I learned something that never really occurred to me. Other people can care.  After a very touching lecture I learned that doing one stupid thing could change my whole life.  Next time, I might not have such a nice teacher that cared about helping me and taught me right from wrong.  You made a real difference for me.  Thank you, Mrs. Johnson.”
~Seventh grade student

"Thank you for making everything fun and funny. I love EXCEL because of you."
~Eighth grade student

"You made my first year of Science Olympiad so, so great. From me, with so much love"
~Seventh grade student

“Thank you so much for putting me in Science Olympiad.  At first, I thought it wouldn’t be as much fun, but it really was.  Because of Science Olympiad, I got to go Upstate and compete in many fun and exciting events. ..it will encourage me to try even harder…I love Science Olympiad and want to do it next year and throughout high school”
~Seventh grade student

“From motivating me to succeed, to calming me down with your wonderful yoga, you are THE KEY to this team’s success!  I have done things I never thought I would be able to do, learned things I never would have otherwise, and had fun the whole time.  Thank you again.”
~Seventh grade student


“Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to participate in Science Olympiad.  It was such a wonderful experience.  I had a lot of fun and worked hard to study.  I’m so happy we made it to States.  Thank you for the help and support you offered to me.  I did well, but you certainly helped me along the way.”
~Eighth grade student

"Wow. You have truly put your heart and soul into all you have done for us throughout training and every day. You stayed as late as possible after school and gave up your free time to help each and every one of us to do the very best we could...whenever we needed advice on something, even if it was something other than an event, you were always there to give us a hug, and put all of your attention on us. Thank you so much for always helping, and always doing anything you could..."
~Seventh grade student

"You always give us such a positive attitude and you are always there to help us when we need it. You are an excellent teacher, but most of all, an excellent friend."
~Seventh grade student

"Competition was a bit stressful, but all of your motivating words reduced the stress and made the experience fun and enjoyable."
~Eighth grade student

"Thank you for coaching our [Science Olympiad] team. Don't be modest about it because without you we would have all been lost. You gave each event so much thought and we think all of us, including you, did very good."
~Eighth grade student

"Thank you for all of your hard work and dedicated leadership. You are the best Science Olympiad coach and EXCEL Teacher."
~Seventh grade student

"Thanks for always working me to my full potential."
~Seventh grade student

"Thank you for teaching EXCEL and encouraging me to be the best that I can be."
~Sixth grade student

"Wow. What an incredible year with my EXCEL Family. So much has happened this year, and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. I know that 8th grade will be even better knowing that I can spend another year at EXCEL with you as my teacher. You are a fantastic teacher, but above all you are a great friend, and I know I can always count on you to be there to help when I need it. Thank you for being such a fantastic teacher, friend, and mentor."
~Seventh grade student

"Without you, I could not have gone to the places that I am now."
~Eighth grade student

"Thank you for everything you did. Thanks for motivating this whole team to do well and make it to States. It was all thanks to you...you kept the whole team organized and helped us so much and we appreciate everything."
~Eighth grade student

"Because of you, I love Science Olympiad and want to do it next year and throughout high school."
~Seventh grade student

"Thank you for all of your help through the years and for helping me shape my success in school."
~Tenth grade student

“Thank you for everything you did.  Thanks for motivating this whole team to do well and make it to States.  It was all thanks to you.  You helped us with studying and were always there if we had questions.  Even if you did not know the answer, you would try and figure it out, unlike most teachers who would tell us to go look it up.  You kept the whole team organized …you helped us so much and we appreciate everything.”
~Eighth grade student

“All of your motivation really helped.  States was a bit stressful, but all of your motivating words reduced the stress and made the experience fun and enjoyable”
~Eighth grade student

“Let me just say that you are the best teacher ever.  You helped me learn and grow so much.  It was such a great experience to get this far throughout the competition.  I had a lot of fun along the way and I’m so glad that I joined Science Olympiad.  At first, I didn’t know how much I would like it, but I definitely made the right decision!  After all the hard work, everything paid off.  Without you, we never would’ve been able to achieve so much!  I love Science Olympiad and I’m positive I’m going to do it next year!”
~Seventh grade student

“Thank you for always steering me down the right roads.”
~Eighth grade student

“You made EXCEL feel like a second home.  Thank you.”
~Eighth grade student