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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GOP Candidate Gov. Eric Holcomb On COVID-19, Racial Inequity And Education

The 2020 campaign for Indiana governor – like so much of people’s lives – has been overtaken by concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests over racial injustice and police violence. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith sat down with each candidate to discuss the race’s big issues.

Brandon Smith: I want to start with the thing that’s dominated all of our lives for the last six months, which I’m sure you can guess is COVID-19. Looking back over the last six months, then, is there any changes you would make – what would you change about the state’s response to the pandemic?

Gov. Eric Holcomb: Well, I certainly wouldn’t change how proud I am of the way that three different sectors all came together in a real quickness and focus. And that is, the nonprofit sector, the private sector and the government sectors – and I’m not just

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