As William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Thankfully, the ThunderChickens have daily inspiration in the form of one very special mentor, teacher, and friend— Mr. Arscheene. He is considered by many to be a humble, selfless father/mother figure and the heart and “glue” of the team. He has been there for every ThunderChicken, driving each of them forward to achieve the inspired, fulfilled life they choose to pursue. Mr. Arscheene is a nearly indescribable whole-hearted human being whose main goal is to ensure that everyone has a positive experience. He allows us to focus on the future and never dwell on discouragement; s/he can often be caught saying, “It’s nothing we can’t fix.” It is with pride and reverence that we nominate Mr. Arscheene for the Woody Flowers Award.
Many can be a great mentor. However, it takes more than that to be an exceptional person. Not only is Mr. Arscheene a beloved mentor, but he is also able to balance the roles of a loving father and husband, a demanding AP physics teacher, and a current college student.
Mr. Arscheene began the team in 1999 and this dedication has continues today. He inconspicuously and humbly spends more than 30 hours per week mentoring the students with advice and clever wisdom, watching them work together to complete the robot’s construction before the infamous “ship date”. Whenever the students become overwhelmed and are unsure “if” anything will turn out satisfactory, he always remains positive and is often heard saying, “It’s not ‘if’ we succeed, it’s when.” Even after finishing his day’s work at the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology, he can always be counted on for his intelligent advice. Mr. Arscheene even went out of his way to provide ThunderChickens with a ride to the Novi F.I.R.S.T. Kickoff so that those students might experience the excitement of F.I.R.S.T… In always being there for us, it sometimes seems that if he wasn’t one of our main mentors, our team would struggle to survive.
Someone like Mr. Arscheene who transcends mentoring and exudes such passion about what he does daily is a rare find. The most impressive way that Mr. Arscheene improves the lives of his students is how he provides advice. Whenever Mr. Arscheene is prompted with a question, he always replies with a question of his own which leads one to their own answer. Mr. Arscheene never had anything simply handed to him and he never hands anything to those who come to him, but instead sticks with you with a smile on his face as he watches you progress and learn. Many students can perfectly recite a phrase Mr. Arscheene often tells them: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
They say that the future lies in the hands of our generation, but if it weren't for the generation before us, we wouldn't have amazing leaders like Mr. Arscheene to learn from. Grasping knowledge is one thing, but retaining it and applying it to the real world can only be taught by those like Mr. Arscheene, the brightest and the best. He has faith in all and challenges the mind to infinite lengths. He is the catalyst of great thought and the inspiration for success. All of these attributes, along with so many more, make Mr. Arscheene truly worthy of this year's Woodie Flowers Award.