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Lennox High School’s Patrick Sees named Teacher of the Year

Lennox High School’s Patrick Sees received the honor of Teacher of the Year, announced by the Lennox School District at their end of year luncheon held May 22. With a passion for science and a heart for his students, it is easy to see why Sees was selected for this honor.

Sees, a seasoned veteran in the world of education, currently holds the reins as the 9-12 Physical Science Teacher at LHS. His journey into teaching, however, was not merely a career choice but a heartfelt calling ignited by the mentors who once guided him at his own high school.

“My inspiration for becoming a teacher is quite honestly the teachers and coaches I had when I was in high school,” said Sees. “I could really tell how much they cared about me and the subject/sport they taught/coached. This left a huge impression on me, and I wanted to do the same for someone else.”

Sees received a degree in biology education with a math minor from Dakota State University in Madison in 2003. Upon graduating, Sees took a position teaching 9-12 science in Centerville.

During the next four summers, Sees worked to complete his Masters of Natural Science degree with an emphasis in physics through the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. In the fall of 2019, Sees took a position in Lennox teaching physics, advanced physics, physical science and earth science. 

Reflecting on his journey thus far, Sees reminisces about a memorable teaching moment.

“A long time ago, I had a student who moved into my district. This young man didn’t quite fit in and was picked on some by his classmates. It was heartbreaking,” said Sees. “But, after numerous conversations with his class about the situation and him being willing to step out of his comfort zone, he suddenly became quite popular with students of all grades. I was so happy for the young man as he achieved what so many of us take for granted…acceptance.”

Sees witnessed this remarkable transformation unfold before his eyes. 

“After about a year in the district, his peers convinced him to play basketball. He didn’t have a lot of money, so we got creative and found him a pair of shoes to use for the season. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks of practice, his family moved out of the district. When he left, he thanked me for everything and promised to continue to play basketball at his new school,” Sees remembers. 

This memory sticks with Sees because he was proud of the how the kids rallied behind someone who was different than them. 

“To see them embrace him was special because it meant the world to him,” added Sees. 

Sees’ favorite aspect of teaching lies in the relationships he cultivates.

“My favorite thing about teaching is the relationships you make,” he affirms. “Whether this is with students, staff, coaches, and the people you network with outside your district during summer professional development workshops, the connections you make are the most enjoyable part of my profession. Many of these relationships are lifelong so this is very reward.”

This sentiment is echoed by his students at LHS. 

“I was privileged to have Mr. Sees as my physics teacher, he inspired us with his passion for teaching and showed that he really cared about our success,” said LHS graduating senior, Elijah Homan. 

For Sees, teaching isn’t merely a profession; it’s a vocation fueled by a thirst for knowledge. 

“I love the challenge that education brings,” he explains. “I love learning about new phenomena and new ways to teach/think about a concept. The challenge is stimulating and keeps me engaged.”

When asked about his approach to motivating students and fostering their love of learning, Sees emphasizes the power of enthusiasm and emotional investment in the subject matter. 

“I think the most important way to motivate students to learn and stimulate curiosity is to bring energy to your teaching each day,” Sees said. “Let students see when you, the teacher, find something interesting or exciting. Energy is infectious. It will spread organically throughout your class if you allow yourself to be emotional about the content you teach.”

As he continues to foster curiosity among the students at LHS, Sees exemplifies the caliber of teaching excellence within the Lennox School District. 

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