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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Claes Nobel Educator of the Year Awards Announced

Brian Mc Donald

NSHSS is pleased to announce our 2013 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year, presented to ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These ten educators are among NSHSS’s student-nominated Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction program that recognizes educators who model best practices in teaching, are a positive influence for students and peers, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education, as well as community engagement. Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 38,000 educators worldwide. 

“I am proud to honor these top ten educators and announce the 2013 Educator of the Year. This program embraces my family’s tradition of recognizing world class minds and supports the vision of NSHSS to help students build on academic success and grow the skills and desire to have a positive impact in the global community,” said Claes Nobel, senior member of the Nobel family that established the Nobel Prizes, and Chair of the NSHSS Advisory Board. 

A selection committee of notable academics and educators – including a college president, a university admissions officer, college guidance counselor, and the 2011 and 2012 Educators of the Year – joined NSHSS Advisory Board Chair Claes Nobel in reviewing the nominations. Brian McDonald, a National Board Certified Social Studies teacher at CharlesE.JordanHigh School in Durham, North Carolina, is distinguished as the 2013 Claes Nobel Educator of the Year. Mr. McDonald earned a Bachelor's Degree in History Education from ElonCollege and teaches AP US History, AP Government and Politics, Honors Civics and Economics, Poverty in America, and Minority Studies. He has received numerous teaching awards, including Most Inspirational Teacher – 2007, 2011, 2012 (voted by students), Teacher of the Year voted on by faculty at his school, and Best New Teacher voted on by faculty and staff in his initial year of teaching. An Adjunct Lecturing Fellow at DukeUniversity, he has published numerous works including "Not the End, but the Beginning: The Impact of Race and Class on the History of Jordan High School (Patterson & Quinn Press, 2013).

His teaching philosophy reflects these major themes: student engagement, high expectations, service, and relevance. He indicates that service has been an important part of his career at Jordan. Since 2004, his classes have been participating in service projects to benefit others, including the North Carolina Food Bank, Urban Ministries of Durham, American Red Cross, Durham Rescue Mission and Habitat for Humanity. For the latter, he led a project at his school that raised $17,000 - split between the local Habitat chapters of Durham and New Orleans. That same year he led a trip of 20 students to New Orleans to build in the 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina and says that this trip was "without a doubt, the highlight of my teaching career to work side by side with students for the greater good."

Mr. Nobel presented Brian McDonald with a plaque and an award of $5,000 at The Carter Center Member Event held in Atlanta on December 7, 2013.

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The finalists are recognized as 2013 NSHSS Top Ten Educators and receive the following receive $500 to further educational initiatives at their respective schools.

Erin Johnston
South Caldwell High School, Hudson, NC

Dana Kling 
Brookwood High School, Snellville, GA

Dr. Teresita Lemus
John A. Ferguson Senior High, Miami, FL

Susan New 
Trinity High School, Euless, TX

David Quinn
Edmonds-WoodwayHigh School, Edmonds, WA

Laurel Spradley
Earl Warren High School, San Antonio, TX

Camilla Walck
Princess Anne High School, Virginia Beach, VA

David Williams
ValleyViewHigh School, Moreno Valley, CA

Glenn Yamasaki
Warren High School, Downey, CA