Eric Hale is the first Black man named Texas Teacher of the Year: ‘I’m not the first to deserve it’

“I’m the first to win it, but I’m not the first to deserve it,” he said.

Hale teaches first and second grade at David G. Burnet Elementary School in Dallas, where 98 percent of students live below the national poverty line.

For Hale, being an educator is about far more than teaching letters and numbers.

“I am a teacher because I’m chasing the ghost of the educator I needed as a child,” he said. “My mission is to make sure that children that are going through poverty and traumatic experiences get the hope they need.”

Hale’s own childhood trauma steeled him, he said, supplying him with the necessary tools to reach out to children living through similar circumstances.

Growing up in West Phoenix, Ariz., Hale’s troubles began when he was 6. His stepfather’s mental health challenges spurred erratic and violent attacks toward his mother and the children. Hale and his

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Tear gas isn’t banned; Jersey City seniors deserve better housing; Education Matters team should win | Letters

Get the facts on tear gas

I’m surprised to see that law enforcement was awarded the cash for riot gear (“Three and a half months after first request, Hudson County law enforcement agencies will get tear gas”). But more surprised to see a member of the public being quoted as saying “tear gas is banned under the Geneva Convention.”

It is not.

And he is mistaken in his assumption that it pertains to protests of the nature we have been experiencing.  He might want to review the document in its entirety starting with “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian law in Armed Conflicts,” which this is not classified, and “Protection of Civilian Persons and Populations in Time of War,” which we are not.

Kenneth Keane, Eatontown, formerly of Jersey City

Seniors need more and better housing options

Jersey City needs better senior housing. We need more senior housing and better buildings

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