In a recent email entitled “What my teachers did for me,” Secretary of Education John King talked about his personal experience and how a well-rounded education in the middle grades helped him to overcome adversity –

I grew up in Brooklyn and went to New York City public schools. My mom passed away when I was in the 4th grade. While living with my dad, who suffered from then undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease, things at home were often unpredictable and scary. My dad died when I was 12. After that, I moved between family members and schools.

Things could have gone in very different directions for me, but my teachers at P.S. 276 and Mark Twain Junior High School made school a place that was compelling, engaging, and safe. I was blessed to have a teacher, Mr. Osterweil, who created a space that countered the chaos in life outside of school with amazing experiences in the classroom.  We read the New York Times every day. We did productions of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland; we went to the zoo, the Museum of Natural history and the ballet. He opened up to us a world far beyond Canarsie, Brooklyn.

Kudos to Mark Twain JHS for providing such a rich experience for students.

Click here to read the entire email.

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