2 APS Teachers Recognized by Atlanta Hawks and Clorox in ‘Year of the Teacher’ Campaign

Do you know a great APS teacher deserving recognition?

Nominate them for the Atlanta Hawks and Clorox “Year of the Teacher” recognition here: https://www.nba.com/hawks/teacher  Nominations are accepted until Friday, March 4. 

“Attending a  Hawks game is exciting enough, but watching the teams warm up, be able to walk onto the court, and stand in the huddle before the game felt unreal!” said Dorothy Chu, a first-grade teacher at Brandon Morris Elementary School. 

“I felt short!” said her fellow teacher honoree, Charles Astin, a third-grade teacher at F.L. Stanton Elementary. “Being close to the players and seeing how tall they are is really amazing!”

Ms. Chu and Mr. Astin were recognized during the Sunday, Dec. 5 Atlanta Hawks game as part of the “Year of the Teacher” initiative. It is a recognition of the hard work, dedication, and creativity educators in our schools demonstrate, especially coming out of a year of virtual learning. It is a season-long initiative where the Atlanta Hawks, in partnership with Clorox, will honor nine exceptional APS teachers.

“On behalf of APS, I am thrilled that Clorox and the Hawks are continuing their support through the Year of the Teacher initiative,” said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “Our teachers work tirelessly each day to help our students reach their maximum potential. It means a great deal to them, and to me, to have this recognition opportunity. Thank you, Clorox and the Atlanta Hawks, for acknowledging and celebrating their work!”

Besides the in-game recognition, which included being named honorary team captains for the night,  each winner receives a $500 gift card for classroom supplies and Clorox cleaning products for their school. “Clorox wipes are a hot commodity for teachers, but especially when teaching in a pandemic!” Chu said. 

“We’re proud to recognize the extraordinary efforts of Atlanta area teachers who have gone above and beyond over the past year,” said Tad Kittredge, Vice President of Marketing – Cleaning, at The Clorox Company. “At Clorox we’re committed to creating safer and cleaner spaces where students can thrive, and that’s only possible with the dedication of our superhero teachers.”

“Ms. Chu found unique ways to adapt to the pandemic and innovative ways to teach phonics with a mask on,” said Jacob Bland, principal at Brandon Morris Elementary, adding: “As a language learner herself, she has done great work in helping her students also learn another language. She also advocated for the diverse needs of the students, whether it is academic, social, or economic while remaining active in the Asian community.

“She was instrumental in providing support and activism when hate crimes were on the rise among the Asian American population,” Bland noted. 

“This speaks to any Black male that wants to get into elementary education. You can get rewarded for following your passion. We are needed in education”

Charles Astin
Third-grade teacher

Astin said his students clapped and celebrated together when they heard he was a winner. “This speaks to any Black male that wants to get into elementary education. You can get rewarded for following your passion. We are needed in education,” Astin said of his award, adding that he tells his students they are the reason he won. “When they succeed, I succeed and that we are all winners when we work together.”

“These teachers more than deserve to be recognized for their tenacity and innovation in teaching our youth in a difficult school year,” said Hawks Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Andrea Carter. “We are excited to celebrate these agents of hope through our partnership with Clorox.”

For her part, Chu says that she is only a reflection of all of the hard work Brandon teachers have put forth in the past year facing the challenges of teaching children virtually and in the classroom – or as she calls them Roomies and Zoomies.

“I am only who I am because of those around me,” she said.

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