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Mark Landeen, South Jordan Middle School

The following was submitted by JR Landeen.

“I know it may seem weird that I am nominating my own father but I truly believe he is deserving of this award. I was never his student in the classroom or even attended his school but I know what kind of teacher he is. I remember growing up no matter where we went, from lagoon to Disneyland, I would randomly hear “Mr. Landeen!” enthusiastically yelled. How many teachers have students that are excited to see them during summer vacation? It even happened recently during a bowling trip. As we walked in the person in front of us looked up with an excited expression at the sight of his middle school science teacher. He even left his family later that night to say hi to my father again.

In high school I had the opportunity to meet many of my father’s former students. As the child of a teacher I was worried about the negative affects it may have on my social life but every one of his former students befriended me and enthusiastically told me about the experiences they had in my father’s class. There is not a lot I remember about my 8th or 9th grade science class but these classmates of mine would tell me in detail about some of the experiments and experiences that they had in that middle school science lab.

Since graduating I have had the opportunity to volunteer in my father’s classroom. Once a year the students in his class learn about sound waves and the electromagnetic spectrum. At the end of this subject they get to see what is commonly known as the flame pipe. This is one of those experiences that all of his students remember. This “flame pipe” shows the sound waves through the use of music and fire. I have had the opportunity to help out during this demonstration and to see how entranced the students become is exciting. In a world that is constantly becoming more STEM oriented, demonstrations that can attract student interest to such topics are becoming more and more critical.

Last but not least the best part and most important part of my father’s teaching has been in the home. Growing up he would go to school and teach for 7-8 hours each day and then come home and still have the energy to help us with our homework. He would explain topics in ways that made it so easy for us to understand. He was always patient and understanding. He always wanted us to be our best self and would push us to do our best. He is an example of what a teacher should be. He cares about his students and wants them to succeed. I am nominating him for this award because I want to show my appreciation for all he has done and I’m sure thousands of other parents and students would confirm all I have said. He is in his last 2 years as a teacher before he retires. He has worked so hard to improve the future leaders and entrepreneurs. Let’s give him this teacher feature to show how much he is appreciated.”