Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

Science Excellence

Science teacher Marcus Sherman paces around his classroom while observing different pairs of students who are testing each other’s gag reflex. Many of them are reluctant to have their partner hit the “punching bag” in their mouths with a stirring rod.

Sherman goes around laughing and joking with certain students telling them that they are “broken” because their patellar reflex doesn’t work as it should. The students become defensive at first but then catch on to his jokes and laugh along.

 “He’s an amazing teacher,” sophomore Antonio Ledezma said. “He helps me understand stuff that I thought I never would, while making me laugh at the same time.”

 Sherman was awarded last month with the Cortopassi Family Foundation Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Awards award, which recognizes two “outstanding” science and math teachers in the county.

“I was surprised when I was nominated, and even more so when I was contacted as a finalist,” Sherman said.

The award includes $5,000 for the department in which the teachers work and another $5,000 for the teacher.

“I’m going to do some home repairs, pay some bills, and plan for a trip,” he said.

Principal Bill Parks nominated Sherman and math teacher Andrew Walter for the award. While both teachers were finalists, Sherman was awarded with the title. The teachers are widely known throughout school, as well as in the minds of students.

Senior Aaron Vega said that Sherman isn’t like most teachers. He said that a lot of teachers don’t take any interest in their students, or what’s going on in their lives.

“As opposed to most teachers, Sherman actually cares,” he said.

Vega also said that Sherman has a great teaching method that can really pull in the student and “keep them interested.”

John Steiner, chemistry teacher and head of the science department said that he is happy that Sherman won.

“He’s a real advocate for the honors program and he was a driving force in starting the Homework Center,” Steiner said.

Former student Claire Scheffer wrote Sherman a letter of recommendation to help him win the award.

“I think it’s nice for anyone to be recognized for the work they’ve done,” Sherman said.

Despite being recognized, he still searches for ways in which he can improve his students’ learning environment, and his own teaching.

“I always hope that I can be better,” he said. “If I don’t improve, how can you guys?”

 Walking around his classroom and making funny side comments about people’s reflexes, one can tell that he is comfortable with interacting with his students and developing a different type of student-teacher relationship. He and his students can joke around with one another and have conversations that not only involve learning but their personal life.

Sophomore Monique Maynard said, “He really knows how to make his students feel comfortable around him.”

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