Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Red Apple Salute For Teacher Of The Year Jason Kamras

Jason Kamras, a teacher that works in a Washington, DC middle school, has been named the Teacher of the Year:

Top teachers from each state were praised by President Bush at the White House on Wednesday, along with four beaming students who came along as guests of the teacher who won top honors.

Jason Kamras, an eight-year math and social studies instructor at John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington, was named Tuesday as the 2005 Teacher of the Year. He is credited with reshaping the math curriculum at his school by using technology, adapting lessons to different learning styles and giving classes a real-world context.

Bush told how Kamras is known for giving students individual attention, even after they leave middle school. The president said one former student credited Kamras with helping him study for college entrance exams and become the first in his family to study beyond high school.

"Gosh, it must make you feel good as teachers to have somebody say, 'You made a lot of difference in my life, you are a true friend,'" Bush said.

As Kamras accepted a crystal apple award from Bush, four teenagers sitting in the Rose Garden audience beamed smiles and aimed their cell phone cameras to capture the moment. Kamras recognized them as the reason he loves teaching, and they joined their teacher on the small stage with the president and first lady.

Mrs. Bush, a former teacher, said she was especially glad to see so many men in the audience of state honorees. "More men are needed in our classrooms, more who can teach by example showing young boys, particularly many who are growing up without fathers in their homes how to be responsible, caring adults," she said.

According to The Washington Post:
Kamras was born in New York, grew up in Northern California and has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a master's in education from Harvard University. He came to the Southeast Washington school in 1996 through a program that places recent college graduates in under-funded urban and rural schools.
The program cited (but not named) by the Post is Teach For America. For the next year, Mr. Kamras will be serving as a roving ambassador on behalf of teachers and other educators.
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