Alaska State Senator Mia Costello publicly thanks her kindergarten teacher

getphotoThere are many fine examples of talented teachers who make a positive contribution to their community as a politician. Mia C. Costello, an educator from Alaska, is one such teacher.

Mia was born in Anchorage, Alaska, on January 11, 1968. As a teenager, she attended West High School, where she graduated in 1986. After her graduation, she enrolled at Harvard University. Mia earned her degree in government in 1990, and her teaching certificate and master’s degree in teaching from the University of Alaska Southeast in 1997.

Mia worked as an educator in both the Service High School in the Anchorage School District and Juneau-Douglas High School in the Juneau School District. For her accomplishments in the classroom she has been awarded the Alaska Humanities Forum Teacher Exchange to Sand Point, and she has been named a Co-Nect Schools Excellence in Education finalist.

After leaving the teaching profession, she became the owner of a public relations consulting business, worked as the Deputy Director of Communications for former Governor Frank Murkowski, completed a stint as the public information officer for the Media Support Center of the Office of then-Governor Walter Hickel, and also worked as an account executive for Bradley/Reid Communications. In addition, she served as an aide to state Representative Norm Rokeberg and as an instructor for Nine Star Education and Employment Services. In 2010, Mia was elected as a member of the Alaska State House of Representatives representing District 20, a post she held until 2014, when she was elected to the Alaska State Senate on the Republican ticket. She continues to serve in that capacity today.

Mia’s special interests are youth literacy, flying, swimming, and camping. She is married and has two sons.

Even though Mia no longer serves in the classroom, she appreciates great teachers. She has even publicly credited her former kindergarten teacher, Caroline Nishimura, with making an important contribution to her own success.  To view this, view the video at this link: Mia recognizes her kindergarten teacher.

Baseball’s Victor Aldredge: “The Hoosier Schoolmaster”

Aldridge_VicThere are many examples of capable educators who have also established themselves as talented athletes. One of these is teacher Victor Aldridge, who was also an accomplished pitcher for Major League Baseball.

Vic was born on October 25, 1893, in the small town of Crane, Indiana. He attended Tempy Primary School, just a short walk from his home. In high school, the teenaged Vic attended nearby Trinity Springs, and following his graduation, the young athlete enrolled in Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana.

From 1914-1915, Vic taught school at the Pea Ridge School in Trinity Springs, Indiana. He also taaught in Miami County, Indiana.

Dubbed the “Hoosier Schoolmaster,” Vic was drafted in 1916 as a right-handed pitcher by the Chicago Cubs. Before his career was over, he also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Giants, and the Los Angeles Angels. Vic earned a reputation for a sharp, breaking curve ball, one of the three best pitches on any diamond in his day.  In 1918, the former educator played only three games, pitching a total of only twelve innings, before joining the US Navy during the final year of World War I. After returning from the war, Vic played for the Los Angeles Angels, an affiliate of the Cubs, then returned to the Cubs for the 1922 season. He played the next three years for Chicago, delivering consistent performances. But his most notable performances occurred during the 1925 World Series, when Vic pitched and won games two and five, only to pitch a disastrous first inning in the seventh game. He played his last game on August 29, 1928.

After he retired from baseball, Vic attended law school at the Voorhees School of Law. He also served in the Indiana State Senate from 1937 to 1948. He was first elected on November 4, 1936, on the Democratic ticket.

This distinguished educator and talented athlete passed away in Terre Haute, Indiana, on April 17, 1973, at the age of 79, and is buried in the New Trinity Springs Cemetery. For his work in baseball, he was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame on January 19, 2007, as its 131st member.

Texas educator Jeff Montgomery blogs about the profession

ReTeacherAppleTN1[1]cently I received an email from Jeff Montgomery, a classroom teacher and coach in Austin, Texas. He sent me a recent posting from a blog he writes. The title of the blog is A Teacher Like You, and through his postings Jeff offers reflections about his experiences in the profession.

“Teach because it matters,” Jeff advises. “A wise man once told me, ‘If you do something that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ And there are some hard days, but most of the time, I’m not working. One day, my father-in-law — an awesome man — asked me if I wanted to take over his plumbing business. It’s a very profitable business, and I was so honored that he would ask me. But I was in the midst of teaching, and I had to tell him no. I honestly feel like this is where I’m supposed to be.” I know many of us feel the same way about our own practice in the classroom.

You might find Jeff”s musings interesting or inspirational. If you’d like to check it out, here is the link: A Teacher Like You.

Terry Marzell to speak at Perris local authors event

Terry in LibraryCome out and see me today to the local authors event at the Ceasar E. Chavez Library in Perris, California, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The event will feature raffles, a children’s storytime and craft, face painting, and refreshments. I have been invited be one of two featured speakers. I will be talking about my two published works, Chalkboard Champions: Twelve Remarkable Teachers Who Educated America’s Disenfranchised Students (Tucson: Wheatmark 2012) and Chalkboard Heroes: Twelve Courageous Teaches and Their Deeds of Valor (Tucson: Wheatmark 2015). This event is open to the public. The Perris library is located at 163 E. San Jacinto, Perris, California 92570. Hope to see you there!

Dr. Charles Turnbull: The history teacher who became the governor of the US Virgin Islands

thMany talented educators have also distinguished themselves as accomplished politicians. An example of this can be found in Dr. Charles Wesley Turnbull, the twenty-seventh governor of the US Virgin Islands.

Charles was born February 5, 1935, in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island. The city is the capital of the US Virgin Islands. His parents were Ruth Ann Eliza (Skelton) and John Wesley Turnbull, impoverished immigrants from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. As a child, Charles attended public schools, graduating from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1952.

As a young man, Charles earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Hampton University, a traditionally African American institution of higher learning located in Hampton, Virginia. His education was funded by a Ford Foundation Scholarship. While at Hampton, Charles served as vice president of his freshman class and president of both his sophomore and senior classes. He was also selected as the chief justice of the student court. Charles earned a bachelor’s degree in history with honors in 1958, and his master’s degree in secondary education in 1959. In 1972 he earned a doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Minnesota.

Charles began his career as an educator as a teacher at the elementary level, eventually becoming a history teacher at the secondary level. Eventually, he worked his way up to the position of principal of his alma mater, Charlotte Amalie High School. Later he became a professor at the University of the Virgin islands. In 1967, the gifted educator accepted a position as the Commissioner of the Territorial Department of Education, where he served from 1979 to 1987. During his years there, Charles was responsible for constructing new schools, eliminating double sessions, initiating vocational and technical programs, inaugurating alternative education programs, and encouraging the involvement of volunteers. He also established the Cultural Education Division to promote awareness of the history and culture of the Virgin Islands and the greater Caribbean region.

In 1998 Charles was elected the sixth governor of the US Virgin Islands. Prior to 1970, the governor was appointed by the US president. Once elected, Charles served two terms. During his tenure, he served as a member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors Association, and the Democratic Governors Association.

For his tireless work as an educator, Charles has been honored with numerous awards. Among these are the Leadership and Service in the Field of Education award in 1989; the Citation for Excellence in the Service of Humanity in 1992; the Turner Broadcasting System’s Trumpet Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Service and Education in 2001; and the Humanist Award from the Virgin Islands Humanities Council in 2005.

Charles Wesley Turnbull: a true Chalkboard Champion.