And the Best. Teacher. Ever! is ... drumroll, please...

Posted on June 29, 2011

ITVS Community Classroom announces the Audience Winner for our educator contest.


Well, it was not easy. We received moving stories from around the country about teachers who go the extra mile to illuminate young minds. Teachers like Beatrice Pfaff, an American Sign Language Instructor in Indianapolis who inspires her students to overcome the isolation they can feel from being deaf, or P. Curry Leslie, Jr., a much-loved television production instructor in Raleigh, NC who has mentored hundreds of young people who have gone on to successful careers in journalism. Or elementary school teachers like Virginia E. Mahaney and Mary Causey Hamilton, from Wilbraham and Cambridge, Mass., who both reached out to a student in need of validation and helped her find her own strength.

Ultimately, we just couldn't decide, and so we left it up to you, our audience, to choose the winner. And you chose Negussie Tirfessa, a physics professor in Manchester, Conn. Cordelia Vahadji, who nominated him, wrote that Professor Tirfessa inspires in his students "a passion and reverence for scientific investigation." Next week we'll feature a conversation between Cordelia and Professor Tirfessa and learn more about what makes him the Best. Teacher. Ever! Thanks to all who participated in the contest and shared their stories of these life-changing educators. Now, go and relax ... it's summer break!  

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