The past two years of John T.'s life may have been, arguably, his best. Two years ago he was voted Teacher of the Year in his elementary building where he teaches math and science to 5th grade students. This past year he was not only voted Teacher of Year for his building for the second consecutive year, but also received the award of Teacher of the Year for his entire district. During that time John and his wife, Sherri, gave birth to twins: a boy and girl. Despite all of these accomplishments, John's focus never left his passion for teaching and focusing on his students. Not to mention he also published a book about teaching science as well during that time span.
While all of this may, although not ordinary, sound like your run-of-the-mill dedicated teacher, this is not the case for John T. You see, when John was 18, and two months out from graduating high school, he had a baseball accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. John only has use of his upper torso, arms to some extent, and partial use of his immune system. Despite the challenges he faced physically, mentally, and spiritually he was able to continue to dream of becoming a teacher. And now he has so much more to teach than just math and science.
Everyday in his life serves a purpose, and his students are reminded of those purposes and values. John makes sure his lessons are a reminder of that and makes sure to share them with his students. John makes no excuses for what he can and cannot do in his life and continues to strive to not only make students excel, but also pushes them to live up to and stand up for what they believe in.
I could go on and on about what he means to so many people in his family, school, and community but that could never begin to exemplify what John T. stands for. Above all John T. is a stand-up guy and he will continue to do this for the rest of his life. His story deserves to be told to as many people as possible.
Submitted by Anonymous
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