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Happy Birthday, Alan Haskvitz, Celebrated American Educator

September 07, 2010
by findingDulcinea Staff
Alan Haskvitz is one of America’s best teachers. Over the past 20 years he has taught almost every grade level and core subject. He has written books and articles on teaching, and has won the admiration of his students and of the education community.

Alan Haskvitz's Early Days

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Alan Haskvitz began his studies at Chaffey Junior College, earning an Associate of Arts. He went on to receive degrees in education, journalism, American studies and business from California State University, Memorial University and the University of La Verne.

Haskvitz's Notable Accomplishments

Haskvitz is an inductee at the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He has also been called a “Hero in Education” by Reader’s Digest and is considered an expert in the subjects of special education, gifted education, history, administration, bilingual education, journalism, English, social studies, art, business, computers, museumology and Asian studies.

He is best known for his accomplishments within the classroom. In his first year teaching at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., his students’ standardized test scores were only in the 22nd percentile. By utilizing his teaching method, Haskvitz helped his class’ scores improve to the 94th percentile—the largest gain in California history.
In a biography on Educational CyberPlayGround, Haskvitz is described as a teacher who actively encourages his students to put their education to use. His students founded a green-minded “Feed the Homeless” garden, started a daily newsletter for local maternity wards, and drafted numerous revisions to California state laws, some of which were enacted.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Time magazine wrote, “Alan Haskvitz interrupted his seventh-grade lesson on the Boston Tea Party to discuss the difference between civil disobedience and terrorism. ‘We pulled out maps,’ he says. ‘We talked about how Arabs are not necessarily Muslims and vice versa. We handed out newspapers, and for the first time, instead of just reading the sports section, they wanted to take them home.’”

Haskvitz has received many awards and honors for his teaching, including his 1997 induction in the National Teachers Hall of Fame, one of the 100 Most Influential Educators, a Reader's Digest Hero in Education, a National Middle Level Teacher of the Year, a USA Today All-Star Teacher, and a recipient of the Robert Cherry International Award for Great Teachers.

The Rest of the Story

Haskvitz, along with the Horace Mann Companies, operates the Web site ReachEveryChild.com. He says that he “works tirelessly to improve and advance his profession.” He continues to teach at Suzanne Middle School, to write, to lecture and to consult on educational issues.
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