September 01, 1991 2 min read

Taking His Show On The Road

Jaime Escalante, the celebrated math teacher portrayed in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, has decided to leave Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, where he has prepared more than 1,000 inner-city students for the Advanced Placement calculus exam. After 18 years at the school, Escalante wants to test his methods in a new environment. “We will duplicate our success,” he promises. “It can be done anyplace.” The move takes Escalante 382 miles north to the multi-ethnic Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento. He will start out teaching basic 9th grade mathematics and algebra but hopes to have 100 students taking the AP calculus test within four years. The 60-year-old teacher doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon. “A cowboy dies with his boots on,” he says, “and Escalante with a calculus book and photos of his students in his hand.”

In His Father’s Footsteps

Twelve-year-old Taras Genet of Talkeetna, Alaska, has gone where no 12-year-old has gone before: to the top of Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. In June, the Susitna Valley High School 8th grader became the youngest person to make the climb. In a sense, Taras followed in his father’s footsteps. Ray Genet, a mountain climber who died in 1979 while climbing Mount Everest, made the trek up McKinley 26 times. It took Taras and his six companions 17 days to reach the top of the 20,320-foot summit. The boy says the climb was something he’d wanted to do all his life, but after the grueling ascent, his first thought was, “Let’s get off the mountain.”

A Little Help From Some Friends

Socially conscious music lovers have flocked to rock concerts organized to benefit such worthy causes as fighting hunger and AIDS. But will they turn out to raise money for public education? Rock impresario Bill Graham thinks they will. The San Francisco-based promoter recently convened a meeting of educators and prominent rock ‘n’ rollers, including Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, to plan a benefit on behalf of California’s financially strapped school system. “The difference between jungle life and civilized life is education,” Graham said, according to the Associated Press.

Tackling Education

Pro Football Hall of Famer Alan Page was honored this past summer for his work in another field: education. The former Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears defensive tackle received the National Education Association’s most prestigious honor, its Friend of Education Award, for his work with urban and minority youth. The union recognized the contributions of the Page Education Foundation, which funds scholarships for minority students, and the Kodak/ Alan Page Challenge, a national essay contest that asks 4th graders to write about why education is important to their future. Page began his work in education after discovering that three of his teammates, all of whom had attended college, could not read the team’s playbook. Speaking at the NEA’s July convention, Page, now assistant attorney general for the state of Minnesota, said the award “is especially important to me as a former athlete who has tried to link athletics and academics.”

A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 1991 edition of Teacher as People