FFT Fellow to Carry Olympic Torch

Sean Brooks’ 2010 Fund for Teachers fellowship was to enhance his school’s new dual-language program by traveling to Dominica and enrolling in Spanish language courses and visiting local schools.

Boston teacher will carry the Olympic Flame in
London 2012 Summer Olympic Torch Relay
Dorchester educator selected to represent the United States

BOSTON – A Boston Public Schools teacher will represent the United States in the prestigious Olympic Torch Relay before the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Sean Brooks, a resident of Dorchester, is English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at the Dever-McCormack K-8 School in Dorchester. He will carry the Olympic Flame for 300 meters in Dalkeith, Scotland, on June 14.

Sean is one of five outstanding teachers from the United States pre-selected to be a torchbearer through a program sponsored by Samsung Electronics America. “I am honored and thrilled to represent my country, my school, and my fellow teachers as an Olympic Torchbearer,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will remember forever.”

The 2012 Summer Olympics Torch Relay will begin on May 19, when the torch arrives from Greece, and continue for 70 days along an 8,000-mile route throughout the United Kingdom (plus a stop in Dublin, Ireland), ending in London on July 26.

Sean is designing a unit to teach his students about the Olympics, using the international event to help students learn about geography, history, sports, and more. Many of Sean’s students were born outside of the United States, including children born in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Sean was nominated for the honor by Maria Fenwick, Executive Director of organization Teach Plus Boston, a non-profit organization focused on teacher leadership. Sean is an alumnus of the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows program, in which he advocated with other public school teachers for policy changes to elevate the teaching profession.

Sean has been teaching for 10 years, including the past six years at the Dever-McCormack. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at the school, Sean has pursued grants for classroom materials, designed after-school English classes for parents, and planned multi-sensory lessons to engage his English Language Learner students, including a non-fiction reading unit that culminated with students planting a vegetable garden. Sean also serves as a teachers’ union building representative and as a mentor for the Boston Teacher Residency program.

“Sean is an outstanding teacher leader in an urban ‘turnaround school’ that has been underperforming for several years,” wrote Ms. Fenwick. “Despite numerous changes in school leadership and frequent staff turnover, Sean has stayed through the turmoil to provide consistent leadership for students and peer teachers alike. He has an unwaveringly positive attitude and goes above and beyond to help his school succeed.”

Teach Plus is a national non-profit based in Boston whose mission is to improve outcomes for urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to effective, experienced teachers. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of reform: Teaching Policy Fellows, the T+ Network, and T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams. The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in national, state, and district policy. Teach Plus began with 16 founding teachers from urban district and charter schools in Greater Boston. Since its inception as a non-profit in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 7,000 solutions-oriented teachers in six major cities across the country. www.teachplus.org

To view the full release, click here.