Tim Tower was nominated by two students. The following profile contains text from each nomination.
"Starting my junior year could have been better for me. New campus, new teachers, new schedule - everything was new. I felt lost, as I do most of the time. I had to change some classes because they were too challenging, or I thought I needed to be more engaged by what we were learning," said one student.
"I had to make an appointment with my counselor to drop and add classes. I was pretty worried because it was a little late to be joining classes. We talked about what classes were available; the only one I could join was sociology. I had no idea what that class would be about. I was told later it's the study of society and how groups of people think," said the student. "This sounded pretty interesting to me. I enjoy social studies and have taken numerous high-level social studies classes, so I figured this class wouldn't hurt."
"The first time I walked into this class, there were seven seniors who had heard of me but never talked to me, so the room was pretty stale. I looked around and saw the walls were covered floor to ceiling with pictures of the famed Mr. Tim Tower from when he first started teaching. Every wall had about 50 pictures of students all standing in front of the room with a cheesy smile," said the student.
"I was mesmerized by this for about five seconds before Mr. Tower walked in. He had a big smile and shuffled around the room, handing out papers and greeting everyone. He gets to me and asks my name. When I tell him, he smiles at me and says, 'Welcome, it's a pleasure to have you here,'" said the student.
"That instantly put me in a better mood and washed away any stress lingering under my skin. Mr. Tower starts every day by talking about current events he finds interesting or that had just happened that morning. When he talks about them, he doesn't just stand up by the board, explain the situation, and tell us how to think about it. He starts by asking us what we think about it or if we heard anything. He genuinely wants us to speak out and say how we feel about things happening in today's world. As a teacher, this is a great thing to do to engage students in thinking about the world they live in," said the student.
"I would have a completely different perspective on life if I never got to experience the insightfulness and down-to-earth thinking he showed me. Having a sense of humor also goes a long way with this because if you can't make someone laugh, how can you understand people as a whole? I think many of the little things he does or says get overlooked sometimes. He makes experiencing new things not so scary and overwhelming, which makes future challenges seem like a breeze," said the student.
"Coming to Arrowhead High School my junior year wasn't easy. The first time I met Mr. Tower was in his Western Civilizations class. He asked, 'Is that an Insane Clown Posse thing,' while pointing at my favorite sweatshirt with horror movie villains all over it. I told him it wasn't, but I was just surprised that he knew what that band was because it was a band I liked. That was when I knew I would like the class, and I immediately started to view him as the 'cool teacher,'" said another student.
"The more time went on, the more I engaged. I didn't do well with getting my assignments in because I struggled mentally, but Mr. Tower never made me feel bad about it. The next semester, I didn't have him for my Western Civilizations class anymore, but I did have him for Sociology," said the student.
"One day, he made small talk with the class, and he pointed at me and asked, 'Where do you work?' I told him, 'I work at the movie theater in Delafield.' He said, 'You should bring popcorn in for the whole class with extra butter and salt,'" said the student.
"Anyone who's worked at a movie theater knows that a lot of popcorn gets trashed at the end of the night, and my theater allowed us to take as much of that popcorn home as we wanted. So on a day when we were watching a movie, I brought in popcorn and could tell Mr. Tower was grateful. A friend told me that Mr. Tower had told their class about the 'student that brought in popcorn for fourth hour' and praised me to them as well. It made me happy to know that he had thought about something that was so insignificant to me throughout the day. I did this a few more times until I ended up not working there anymore," said the student.
"Sometime in the spring, my mom got something in the mail from Arrowhead, and I opened it, and it was a handwritten note from Mr. Tower. He talked about how glad he was to have me in his class this year and joked that he didn't know why I would choose to have him as a teacher twice. I had never gotten recognition like that for anything I'd done in school. I was never a good academic student and didn't participate in sports. Just a simple good deed being noticed made me feel accomplished...The end of junior year was bittersweet. I was excited about summer, but I couldn't help but be sad because I will never have Mr. Tower as a teacher again," said the student.