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“Teacher, My Hero” – Going Beyond the Call of Duty in Manhattan Beach Schools

By May 15, 2014eNews

By Leanne Huebner

Honor Your TeacherWhile Manhattan Beach teachers are a big reason why our schools are ranked third in the state, there’s so much more to our backstory. It is a story line of dedicated teachers that make our public schools great for our children. As part of Teacher Appreciation Month, here’s just a sampling of the many stories submitted of how our teachers just go beyond their call of duty every day. These stories are representative of the talent and dedication we have in our teachers here in Manhattan Beach.

Making A Student’s Day, whatever it takes – Monica Wood, MBMS

“Walking to school one day my daughter’s cell phone slipped from her hands falling right into a storm drain. She couldn’t see it or reach it and ran off to school crying. Her first period teacher Ms. Woods was there and shocked to see my normally happy child bursting in tears. The student explained her conundrum and, during a break, Ms. Woods grabbed her lacrosse stick and duct tape, laid down in the middle of Redondo Avenue and retrieved the phone. It didn’t even have a scratch on it! We will never forget this act of kindness. Thanks Ms. Woods!”

Staying Up Late to Ensure Student Success — Aaron Braskin, MCHS

“Mr. Braskin, my AP Java teacher, has gone above and beyond all year with every student to make sure that they understand the lessons, homework, or projects given. After each assignment turned into him, he breaks down our errors and triumphs, so we can fully comprehend where we are excelling and where we need more reviewing. During recent evening AP review sessions, a few students remained after the majority of students left. It was nearly 7 p.m. and we let him know we had further questions but my fellow students and I were concerned about his time. Mr. Braskin’s response was ‘Don’t worry about the teacher. I’m here to teach. Just make sure you are learning the material. I’m here to cater to you.’ His remarks summed up my whole school year. He is the true embodiment of an extraordinary teacher. Thanks Mr. Braskin.”

Preparing Them Well for Tomorrow – Dawn Curry, Elementary

“Dawn Curry has one incredible work ethic. Over the years my two sons have had extraordinary teachers who have contributed greatly to their academic growth but none quite like Ms. Curry. When my son left her fifth grade classroom, he was so incredibly well prepared for middle school because of all the skills she taught him. She’s been a wonderful influence in our children’s lives. Thank you, Ms. Curry.”

Making a Student Transition Easier – Myra Karas, MBMS

“We were initially anxious about the switch from elementary to middle school, like many parents are. Last year, Ms. Karas really took a great interest in our son and his progress making his sixth grade transitional year at MBMS extra great. He still stops by her classroom to say hello, to chat and just laugh with her. It is quite comforting to know there is a friendly face at MBMS for him if anything did arise there. Thanks Ms. Karas.”

The Watchful Eye our Child Needed – Linda Hunt, Elementary

“I’ve never forget how honest, direct and open Ms. Hunt was about a severe bullying issue occurring over months where our son was the victim of another student’s wrath in her class. Ms. Hunt worked so very hard to alleviate the situation best she could – working with both students, moving seats, finding other students to help our child, and coming up with several ideas on what to do next. It was a very painful, difficult time for our family but with Ms. Hunt’s watchful eye, we all somehow survived. During this challenging time, her frankness and honesty – not excuses and finger pointing – was what we needed to help our child. Thanks a million, Ms. Hunt!”

Being Innovative and Selfless with his Time – David Levy, MCHS

“Mr. Levy has been a wonderful inspiration to his students, getting them to enjoy learning and have fun at the same time. This school year, Mr. Levy created an afterschool class for our Drama program to participate in two Southern California Festivals that celebrate middle and high schools’ acting talents. These festivals have helped me incredibly in taking responsibility and working hard. Whether it is giving more extra rehearsals or spending his lunch helping a student with an essay, Mr. Levy surpasses above and beyond when it comes to his students. Thank you, Mr. Levy.”

Bringing History Alive – Jed Rucker, MBMS

“Until now, history has never really been my favorite subject. It has always seemed repetitive and dull to me. But this year, I was lucky enough to get one extraordinary teacher – Mr. Rucker. We’ve studied everything from the American Revolution to the Civil War, without one dull moment. Not only does Mr. Rucker inspire students to appreciate History, but he also teaches us to face challenges and make the best of them. Believe me, this class is far from being easy. He worked with me to improve my study skills. He is the most engaging teacher I’ve ever had, and it is very obvious he cares passionately about his job and his students. Thank you, Mr. Rucker.”

Identically Being Loved Year after Year – Erynne Hart, Elementary

“I’ve had two of my children have Ms. Hart for fourth grade and there is just something really special about her and how she teaches. A few years back, I pulled out what my child had written about her during Teacher Appreciation Week “I love Ms. Hart because she is fun, she is a great teacher and she really cares about me.” When my second child had to prepare the same card, the sibling sentiment was nearly identical with almost the same exact words! There is just something very special about the way she teaches and embraces each student and both my kids realize it. Thanks, Ms. Hart.”


The student/family names have been removed. For their heroic acts of kindness, each teacher with a story submitted will receive a $20 gift certificate at MBEF Business Sponsor’s Two Guns donated by an MBEF Board Member. Thank you to ALL our teachers for a million ways they go beyond the call of duty.


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