Top 40 seniors honor their top teachers


Rhea Deshpande

Senior Ethan Fong, one of the top 40 seniors who will attend the Excellence Reception, works on a Science Olympiad code-buster assignment.

Jessica Lieberman, Staff Writer

The Excellence Reception is happening May 10 for seniors ranked in the top 40 of their class. During this event, each senior honors three of their top teachers.

English teacher Lacy Long-Goldberg has been honored multiple times over her career at Mayfield. She said, “It typically includes some mingling among administrators, teachers, families, and students, which is then followed by an introduction from [principal Jeff] Legan and students’ speeches. Once each student identifies the educators who have made a difference in his/her/their life, they get together for a photograph.”

Senior Amanda Patrick is in the top 40 and thinks it may take some time to select which teachers to choose. She said, “I had to think back to my favorite moments from previous years. Also, a big factor was which teachers have made the biggest and most positive impact on my life.”

Ethan Fong, another senior in the top 40, feels it’s important to choose his top teachers based on their actions toward him. He said, “I think what’s most important about a teacher is impacting their students and making them a better person as a result. My best teachers have understood that more than just a student, I am also a person and have valued my health on top of my success.”

Another senior in the top 40, Kaylie Cornelius considers picking teachers in her top three who have maintained a relationship with her over the years. She said, “Those [teachers] who reach out even now about how I am doing, those who I enjoyed having in class, and those I visited years later [play a factor for me].”

Patrick realizes all top 40 seniors have the same struggle when choosing their teachers. She said, “Picking can be very difficult, and I think everyone has to go through that decision.”

John Sullivan, another English teacher who’s been honored over the years by top 40 students, appreciates the speeches students give about their teachers.  He said, “You hear how the teachers have affected the students and helped them grow academically. You hear how the relationships you have built with the student really matter to that student throughout their educational career not just in the high school but through all levels.”

According to Long-Goldberg, she thinks the speeches are a special part of the evening. She said, “I always get a little misty-eyed during the speeches because it reminds me of how important the bond between students and teachers is. It feels incredible to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”

When it comes to which is harder, choosing their top teachers or writing the speeches, Cornelius believes choosing the teachers is harder. She said, “Once the teacher is picked, it’s easy to talk about why. Picking which teacher between a few is super difficult because they all might have been amazing for different or even the same reasons.”

Fong is excited to see his teacher’s reactions after hearing he has picked them. He said, “I hope that they’ll be happy, but even more than that, I hope that they are encouraged by me picking them to continue teaching and continue to inspire students like they did for me.”

Patrick thinks these speeches are a good way to say goodbye to each teacher. She said, “It’s important for students to give back and encourage the teachers, like they have encouraged us. I like that we get to show our appreciation to them and see them again before going off to college.”

The event will take place in the cafeteria at 6pm on Tuesday, May 10.