Senior Ryan Rivera wins essay contest honoring English teacher

Back to Article
Back to Article

Senior Ryan Rivera wins essay contest honoring English teacher

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

Senior Ryan Rivera had a great teacher his junior year, English teacher Sherilyn Little, and it was her inspiration that prompted Rivera to enter into a contest to display his admiration for her.

The contest, from Barnes and Noble, required writing a 500-word essay about a favorite teacher, and when Rivera heard about the opportunity, he knew he wanted to honor Little.

“I chose to write it about Ms. Little because she really made an impact on my junior year last year so I wanted to shine a light on that and sort of try to think about it and put it into words,” Rivera said.

Little was not just any teacher to Rivera. She made an impact on Rivera’s life.

“Ms. Little helped me improve my outlook on attitude because if you have a good attitude, then you’ll have a good outlook on things,” Rivera said. “She also taught me to believe in myself, to work hard and to work towards something and to reach your supreme value. That everyone has this supreme value, so she really tried to make us see that and I’m glad that I was able to see that.”

Rivera’s admiration for Little is mutual. Little respected Rivera as a student.

“It is an honor to have taught Ryan; his positive attitude and his tenacious spirit is contagious,” Little said.

Rivera’s essay was chosen out of other essays submitted across Guilford County; however, his essay being chosen came to him as a surprise.

“Yes [I was surprised]. I did not think that it was going to win because it was really last minute,” Rivera said. “I was typing it really late at night and I submitted it the day we were supposed to do it. I really just did it to be able to talk about Ms. Little and everything. I really never thought that I would win.”

Regardless of Rivera’s presuppositions, his essay won the contest and because he won, Rivera and Ms. Little were invited to attend a ceremony at Barnes and Noble Monday, April 3 to celebrate both of them. The ceremony was comprised of treats, gift baskets and the family and friends of Rivera and Ms. Little. What made the ceremony even more special was that Rivera read aloud his essay to Ms. Little and their friends and family.

Rivera’s essay will now go to the national level.

Click here to read Rivera’s award winning essay.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email