FOSTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As students at MMI Prep learned about cellular respiration, hands were raised and questions were answered inside Mr. Michael Mele's biology classroom.
The science teacher is now a finalist in a nationwide competition based on making a difference in the classroom
Students at the school near Freeland tell Newswatch 16 Mele's good-natured spirit is not confined to the classroom.
“He has been my advisor for clubs, for other projects outside of school. He is just a really good friend that I like to talk, like if I need to get something off my chest,” said Alexander Sessock.
“In high school during bio and AP bio, he grew into this very mature person in my life that helped me grow as a student,” said Kaitlyn McGeehan.
Alexander Sessock wrote the letter nominating Mele for EF Tours Superhero competition.
According to the website, the competition looks to celebrate the world's greatest unsung heroes: teachers.
“I was a little bit overwhelmed. I got a few messages, saw the letter was from Alex, so it was really overwhelming the fact that he wrote a letter like that was really overwhelming,” said Michael Mele.
Out of 1,000 entries in the contest, the MMI Preparatory School science teacher has now landed in the top 5.
The grand prize is $5,000 for the school as well as a trip to Germany for the teacher.
Students at MMI Preparatory School believe Mr. Mele's commitment to connecting with students is just one of the reasons why he should win the competition.
"He keeps us on task. Sometimes we want to spend the class watching movies. He is always like, 'Let's get down to business but make it fun,'" said Kaitlyn McGeehan.