Dallas, TX — Eric Hale, a first-grade teacher at Burnet Elementary School in Dallas, has made history as the first African American man to ever win Texas Teacher of the Year!Hale has received several awards and was featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show in February as well. He has been widely recognized for his unique teaching style that involves playing music to make learning more enjoyable.
“We use a lot of music in my classroom,” Hale told NBC News. “If I can keep my kids energized and keep them engaged, I can teach them how to do anything.”
Hale has been one of the most outstanding teachers in the Dallas Independent School District. In fact, Hale has scored an average of 95% passing on all exams in the last five years.
Now, Hale was named Texas Teacher of the Year, the first Black man to do so since the program started honoring excellent teachers since 1969. He was one of the six finalists for this year’s award, completing their final round of interviews mid-September.
Burnet Principal Sonia Loskot congratulated him in a post on social media, saying the entire school as well as the parents are proud of his achievement.
“To all those people out there that are looking to make a difference, that are thinking about going into education… you can do it,” Hale said in a video. “I also want to shout out children who are living in trauma, in poverty… if you work hard, you can accomplish any goal. I’m a believer [and] that is the reason why I’m here.”
Moving forward as the Texas Teacher of the Year, Hale will represent the entire state in the National Teacher of the Year program.
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