Randall Middle School (RMS) teacher Christopher Wikfors was one of the thirty top teachers to receive recognition from Norwegian Cruise Line’s ‘Giving Joy Campaign’ out of nearly 50,000 nominated in the U.S. and Canada.

In April, Wikfors was dually nominated by an RMS parent, whose child was his former student, and by his biggest supporter, his mother. Wikfors suffered a near death traumatic brain injury as a freshman in college. He defied all odds to become a dedicated RMS honors math teacher, sharing his love and knowledge with young minds.

Wikfors received an overwhelming 2,685 votes over the month long campaign. When asked to submit reasons why he deserved to win, he turned to people who could give firsthand, honest answers, his former students.

After the top 30 winners were announced, Norwegian Cruise Lines invited them and a guest to Seattle, WA for a weekend of celebration at the Hard Rock Seattle. The top three winners were announced based on the following: 1) the relevancy of their submission to the contest theme—giving joy, 2) the nominees’ lasting impact on their students and 3) content and originality. The campaign generated over 46,000 nominations and 1.43 million votes.

Wikfors said, “The three winners were true examples of heroes in and out of the classroom.” The evening was filled with a room of grateful, deserving teachers. “It was an amazing night, where they truly made 30 teachers feel like rock stars,” added Wikfors.

All thirty educators received a seven-day cruise voucher for two aboard any of Norwegian Cruise Line’s destinations. Wikfors and his wife, Jaime, plan to travel to Alaska with their two sons next summer.

Wikfors is very appreciative of every vote he received. “The passion I have for being a teacher comes directly from the relationships I build with my students and their families. As teachers, our main goal is to make a lasting impact on all of our kids, in and out of the classroom, beyond the lessons we create and curriculum we go through. After receiving such incredible support, it’s made me feel like I have made that positive impact on much of this community. I’m extremely grateful for such awesome kids and a community that values what we do.”

Wikfors sees how valuable and positive this experience has been for not only himself, but for all teachers nationwide. “As we hear about the teacher shortages, this contest showed me that teachers are still appreciated and is just another example of the true value people see in teachers and the impact they have on our future,” said Wikfors.

For information about Randall Middle School, visit http://randall.mysdhc.org/.