When Ryan James, an 8th grade civics and economics teacher at Lucille M. Brown Middle School attended an assembly, he had no idea that it was actually surprise event for him.
As noted by WRVR, he broke down in tears when they called his name. Ryan James received a $25,000 Milken Educator Award, which “targets early-to-mid career education professionals for their already impressive achievements and, more significantly, for the promise of what they will accomplish in the future.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University, has been teaching the 8th grade teacher for five years.
That is not his only job. The source noted that “he is also the school’s football coach and boy’s basketball assistant coach” so it clear that he has an unparalleled dedication to helping students.
Throughout the years of his career, James said that he’s glad he did not give up:
“I’m glad I’ve stuck it out during the years. There’s been plenty of times where the work I’ve done after hours, before hours and I wondered if was I really getting to the students” said James, who was brought to tears. “I feel like this just refocuses me. Not just for my students but to what I do every day.”
He dedicated the award to his late grandfather who shaped him into the man that he is today and his mother who saw a light in him when he was in the 8th grade and told him that he should become a teacher.
“[I] just allow myself to be like I would be with my friends and my family” said James. “It’s worked for me the past few years.”
“Students’ scores started going up, they started coming to class more regularly, homework is turned in, they’re excited to come to class.”
Check out the clip below: