North Brunswick student writes winning essay about teacher

By CARRIE FALCONE
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — Writing an essay can often be a boring and tedious task, especially if you are a high school student.

In Nilay Sharma’s case, however, the task was not tedious or boring at all.

His essay was for a contest sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and the Trenton Thunder baseball team.

Nilay, age 16, chose to write about the chemistry teacher he had during his sophomore year at North Brunswick Township High School, Thomas Strouse.

“I wanted to write about Mr. Strouse based on the personal connection I had with him and how he made me grow as a student,” Nilay said.

The essay topic, “My Hero Works at School,” encouraged public school students across New Jersey to write a 250-word essay about a school employee who had made a positive impact on their lives, according to the NJEA website.

In Nilay’s essay, he wrote about Strouse’s admirable qualities that set him apart from other high school employees.

Nilay described Strouse as approachable as well as a selfless and a dedicated teacher who often takes the time out of his busy schedule to provide extra attention to the students’ chemistry-related problems.

“His many years of experience and wisdom make him an approachable adult figure, and he is credited with being a great motivator and adult mentor,” Nilay wrote in his essay. “Mr. Strouse has redefined the meaning of teachers and educators. He’s able to apply his passion for teaching and his love of students’ success in and out of the classroom.”

Nilay also wrote about how Strouse’s sense of humor complements his gregarious personality.

“His sarcastic and dry jokes make him popular among kids, especially the upperclassmen,” Nilay wrote. “This quality helps Mr. Strouse get through to a variety of students, which is helpful in a diverse atmosphere like North Brunswick High School.”

Nilay was one of three winners selected by the NJEA and the Trenton Thunder. He will take part in the Trenton Thunder pre-game ceremonies in late August, where the winners will receive certificates and will also get the chance to take part in some pre-game activities.

Contact Carrie Falcone at cfalcone@gmnews.com.