The 2016 Light of Learning Award winner from Marian is Mr. Ken Andrzejewski who has 31 years of experience teaching in the Science Department. He is the teacher of Honors Biology, AP Honors Biology, and Advanced Science Research.
As Science Department Chair Ken Andrzejewski initiated and maintains Marian’s participation in a variety of science competitions including the Junior Academy of Science , Science Olympiad, the research grant program, the Indiana Talent Search, as well as the Regional, State, and International Science Fairs. This participation has resulted in a remarkable number of awards and trophies for Marian High School. Mr. Andrzejewski takes the Marian mission statement to heart and also initiated participation in the “Making Strides against Cancer” walk in downtown South Bend. This year his Science Research class raised over $3,900 for cancer research and earned First Place status.
Parents noted that this year’s winner is a person of strong personal integrity who truly cares about the students. Other parents commented on the number of years of experience that this teacher has and yet still makes classes interesting and up-to-date. The phrase used frequently by parents was “truly an example of excellence in teaching.” Other parents commented that this instructor has a positive impact on their sons and daughters because of involvement in many school events. One parent wrote that this “stellar teacher motivates students so well that they have received state and national awards,” but what is more important to parents is that this teacher instills confidence in students!” This confidence is something that serves the students well in their collegiate and professional lives!
Colleagues wrote that this teacher is “thoroughly deserving of an award as he is dedicated to both his students and his subject.” This year’s winner is known by his fellow teachers as a strong Christian role model who values family and faith. He is also known for always making the connection between the lesson being taught and what the Catholic Church teaches. One colleague noted that this instructor “is reliable and can be counted on by students, teachers, and parents to do the right thing.”
Students commented that this teacher always begins class with a prayer and has devoted “a lot of time to Marian.” The words caring, understanding, patient, devoted, and hardworking were used frequently on the ballots. One current student noted that this instructor has taught all of her siblings which makes him the topic of interesting conversations at the dinner table.” Another student said that this instructor has achieved a BALANCE—that the classes are challenging but not impossible. Another voter said that this teacher will always “go the extra mile to help his students."
Limited space does not permit the listing of all of the wonderful comments on the ballots. Here are five of the many sincere statements from the students about Mr. Andrzejewski:
“Mr. A is willing to adjust his style of teaching so that we can better understand the material. He pushes us to our limits and truly deserves this award.”
“He motivates students to work harder inside and outside of the classroom. He adds humor to the class and seriously wants students to do well.”
"Mr. A is a funny and good teacher. He always has a smile on his face and he makes Biology interesting. I never liked Biology until I came to his class.”
“He has taught me how God can be found and has worked through Science in ways that make us better human beings and make the world a better place.”
“Mr. A is my favorite teacher and my parents love him because they had him too.”