“What I learned from Mr. Zimmer.”
“I turned 29 years old this week. For the past three years, I’ve been teaching World History to about 160 students each semester. But 13 years ago, I was headed in a different direction.
“When I was in 10th grade at Marshall High School, I lost my motivation and school became my second priority, and I started skipping school. Mr. Zimmer — who was a teacher and counselor at Marshall — saw my struggle and my potential and had an idea about how to get me back engaged in learning, like he has for so many students.
“Mr. Zimmer encouraged me to participate in the IMPACT program, and met with me weekly. And by 11th grade, I applied to be part of the Multilingual Teacher Career Academy, a year-long program that Mr. Zimmer ran to get students interested in teaching as a career. Students learned how to identify objectives, learned about teaching programs and went weekly to a local elementary school to help in the classroom. For our final, we had to write and deliver a lesson plan.
“I always wanted to go to college but had no idea how to go about it. Being part of the program was the first time I could actually see myself going to college. Mr. Zimmer worked with me to make sure that I got the credits and classes needed to graduate on time, and with A – G credits to ensure I could go to a 4 year college. He helped me make up classes I didn’t complete because of my absences.
“With Mr. Zimmer’s assistance, I earned my diploma. And with his recommendation, I applied and was accepted to CSUN, where I majored in child and adolescent development.
“I’m proud to report that I graduated, the first in my family to earn a degree. And after I graduated, I went on dozens of school site visits with Mr. Zimmer — who by then was elected to the School Board. Through this experience, I decided that I wanted to help students the way Mr. Zimmer helped me, as a teacher.
“I earned my teaching credential and pursued a master of arts in teaching. And since 2014, I’ve been teaching at STEM Academy in Hollywood.
“I’m honored to now call Mr. Zimmer — Steve — a colleague. Because he ALWAYS went out of his way to help students. And that’s exactly what he continues to do as President of the School Board.
“As a teacher and as a former student, I understand how very easy it is for students to lose their motivation and stop attending school. I learned from Mr. Zimmer that there are many factors students deal with on a daily basis. There are many challenges and barriers our students face that we as teachers need to be aware of.
“And that’s why we need a teacher like Steve Zimmer on the School Board. Please vote for him on Tuesday, May 16th.”