Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Time to meet some REAL BADASS TEACHERS!
Wilma de Soto is a newly retired teacher that taught ESL for nearly 30 years in a large urban district. She is certified as a School Program Specialist, (English as a Second Language in her state), Spanish, Music Education and Elementary Education. She taught only in high poverty neighborhood schools from grades K-12.


Virginia Davis Wyeth has been teaching a decade in an inner city public school that also happens to be the number one school in Arkansas. Last year, over 85% of her students passed the AP Literature Exam. Some of her former students are currently attending Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Vassar, and Chapel Hill. Last winter she found out via Facebook that a former student of hers had slid off the road in an unexpected snow storm. The student’s parents were out of town, and she was stranded. Virginia and her husband got into their 4WD and drove into town (20 minutes away without snow or traffic). The roads looked like a scene from the apocalypse. Virginia and her husband rescued the now college student and drove her across town to a friend's house to stay the night.

Mary Meredith Drew has taught for 40 years in rural, urban, and small town settings. She has taught all elementary grades as a regular classroom teacher, and elementary and high students as an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher. She has also taught Spanish in high school. One year she was hired by her district to support high school migrant education students who were at risk of not graduating. She developed an after school tutoring program, visited every family at home, continued to go to student's houses, called them daily, and tracked them down at school when they didn't show up for tutoring.

Jack Stansbury has been teaching for ten years. He has taught math at a middle school in an urban setting for three years, math and technology education in another middle school in an upper middle class suburban setting, and now math and computer science in a rural magnet public high school. A student of Jack’s went to an orientation weekend at MIT. He was talking to a junior there, describing a class he had taken from Jack. The MIT junior said, “Oh, we don't get that class until our junior year here."

Rose Reyes has taught for 14 years in Connecticut. She taught for three years in a NYC Bilingual education program in spite of “Special Master” dismantling. She has testified, lobbied, and presented for the last 3 years in the fight for Bilingual students in Connecticut.

Heather Poland has been teaching for 14 years in a large urban district. She has taught mostly 7th and 8th grade English, but also 1st and 2nd grade. She has an Elementary Teaching Credential, Single Subject English, and a Reading Specialist credential as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Development, with an emphasis on literacy instruction. She has taught most of her years in high needs, low income schools.


Molley Kaiyoorawongs has been teaching for 5 years in DC. She uses class time for students to record back-to-school night videos for their parents. They presented projects that they were proud of in a medium they were excited about and the students glowed with pride when their parents saw them!


Michael Dixon has been a teacher for 24 years. He was in Irvington for 8 years, then moved to Newark for the last 16 years. He spent three years as a permanent substitute when there were no openings. He has coached every sport - baseball, girls basketball, robotics coach, and peer mediation. He was one of Essex County teachers of the year and was inducted into Irvington high school baseball hall of fame. One of his HS baseball players went to Sussex County College. Michael paid his fee to take his entrance exams and took him to the tests. This young man now plays on the same men’s team as Michael.

Jean Fay has spent the last 17 years as a Para-educator. Her second term saw her as the first para-president of her local. She wrote safe school policy as part of a governor's task force and trained Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T) volunteers. She cares about the community she lives and works in. A great memory she has is when a former kindergarten student got out of his pick-up truck to give her a hug.

164 Years of collective teaching – now that is Badass!


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