HOPE – A third year teacher in the Hope Public Schools with a talent for versatility is the Arkansas Education Association 2020 Teacher of the Year.
Hosea Born, who currently teaches art at Yerger Middle School and Hope Academy of Public Service, was named as the honoree in an announcement by the AEA on Nov. 3. The formal announcement will be made in a Zoom conference setting Saturday, Nov. 7, from Little Rock.
“We are proud of Mr. Born,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said. “This recognition illustrates to others what HPS has known for some time; that, Mr. Born is a great teacher and is an example of how a caring adult can change lives.”
Born came to the Hope Public Schools through the Arkansas Teacher Corps after graduating from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2018 with a communications degree.
“Education changed my life and I strive every day to show the qualities of the many great teachers I’ve had along the way,” he said. “It is humbling to have been selected as the 2020 AEA Teacher of the Year. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and encouragement of my students, friends, family and many teachers along the way.”
He began teaching math at Yerger Middle School because he wanted to teach in a school district with a high student poverty level.
“That was part of the Arkansas Teacher Corps arrangement,” Born said.
But, that was okay with Born, who embraces teaching with a passion for learning he attempts to pass on to his students after a childhood of poverty, neglect and abuse that teachers showed him how to escape.
“My goal is to make sure my classroom is safe and comfortable for students,” Born said. “I know growing up in a situation similar to that of many of my students that having a safe space was key for me to grow. Education can truly change a student’s life and I hope my teaching continues to show that.”
Reared in Goodman, Missouri, where he graduated from high school with honors, Born studied at UA-Fayetteville after winning scholarships, which led to Arkansas Teacher Corps. That background fostered an ability to adapt and execute which has served Born well in the era of COVID-19 where HPS teachers deal with bifurcated instruction on campus and online.
He serves as Parental Involvement Coordinator for the Yerger campus, where he expanded the student needs pantry; sponsors forensic speaking and debate; and, is involved in an after-school program at YMS. Born was a co-mentor for students in the FIRST Lego Challenge to resolve a need for a safety crosswalk at the Yerger campus for which students obtained City of Hope approval and participated in the design and construction.
He is a member of the Arkansas Education Association, a Summer Leaders SPARKS program participant, and was a presenter at the 2019 AEA Professional Development Conference.
The award is based upon nominations through local AEA chapters and applications with letters of recommendation and is limited to AEA members.