Luke Wagner, a 2009 Gold Star Teacher, reflected on winning the award for a
writing class he took shortly after receiving the honor. Read what winning
the Gold Star meant to him.
It seemed all so surreal
People standing there saying, “Luke, this is a really big deal!”
I wasn’t quite sure they should be standing in my room
Holding onto the gold plastic star proclaiming “We’ll need you to send this back soon.”
The days following the surprise in my classroom
Shocked me, humbled me, floored me…it caused my head to zoom.
Everyone was being so incredibly kind
Saying how deserving I was, how great a teacher I was, throwing congratulatory cards on my desk in any open space that they could find.
The day of the ceremony I was in for a surprise
500 stars covering the hallway, the floor, my classroom walls, the door….right before my eyes.
It was also then when I spotted all the lovely plants, decorations, and cards filled with congrats and cheers
That I couldn’t take the kindness from others and was flooded with tears.
As I sat there, overcome with emotion and gratitude
I realized that my job really changes peoples’ lives with enormous magnitude.
I was grateful that a wonderful friend came in to comfort me
She reminded me that this day was about me, and that I needed to keep being happy!
The night of the ceremony was a night I hope I never forget.
The thunderous cheering, the videos, the other gold stars, the speakers, the love that filled that room throughout every minute.
The next morning it was great to sit down and talk with my kids, to listen to them talk about the experience, and how the screamed with all their might.
My favorite quote coming from Leah saying “I’m sad that it’s over, but I have great memories from last night.”
It was an experience that was truly once in a lifetime.
And I am forever grateful I had the chance to experience it in mine.