Thelvie Cullins, Jr. teaches calculus and AP calculus at the School for the Talented and Gifted at Townview Magnet Center in Dallas, Texas. While most students shy away from advanced mathematics, Cullins says, “Seeing learners achieve success in a subject that many people avoid energizes me!” He describes his classroom as a place “where each learner feels accepted as a person with dignity and has equal exposure to the preparations for success.”
Marc Pedersen teaches “to inspire and empower children.” The former professional biologist brings years of valuable field experience to the classroom. He has worked with some of the rarest species on earth and in some of the most remote ecosystems known to exist.
Claes Nobel 2016 Educator of the Year Brian Rodriguez began his teaching career in a high poverty, low performing school in Oakland, California, which he describes as “one of the bleakest corners of the educational landscape. . . a school with the windows nailed shut, bullet casings on the playground, where kids would only come to school to get the free breakfast and lunch, because they knew that might be the only meals they would get that day.” As one of only two white staff members in the school, he learned how to teach from the “caring and skilled African-American staff who tried to reach every child.”
Once again, we celebrate the Nobel Laureates and how they expand our knowledge, improve our planet, and enrich our lives. These yearly awards and ensuing discussion remind us that humans, with all of our obvious flaws, can still contribute substantially in advancing our collective progress. Certainly, every Nobel Laureate has a unique story and skill set. However, we can still garner understanding of general traits common among many Nobel Prize Laureates. By identifying these, we can strive to emulate some of these desired attributes. It could potentially lead to success in your own life, perhaps even a Nobel Prize!
Due to his passion for continuous professional development, Mr. Orbe was one of six teachers from New Jersey to earn a Bayer Fellowship from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). He represents his district and conducts presentations at the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Since 2013, Mr. Orbe has conducted research projects at the NJ Institute of Technology each summer. He has also presented at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the New Jersey Science Convention.
Educator of Distinction Christine Rodriguez shares her reflections about a summer experience she had as a master teacher and how it has influenced her teaching and classroom. Ms. Rodriguez teaches AP Spanish at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, CA.