LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Darryl Newhouse

Position: Mathematics/CTE Teacher
School: Foshay Learning Center
School District: Los Angeles Unified School District
City, State: Los Angeles, CA

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Darryl Newhouse was nominated by his colleague, Muhammed Okur.

"Darryl is one of the most outstanding and deserving educators that I have ever known," said Okur. "Igniting passion, creating inspiration, providing opportunities and building excitement about STEM through the use of robotics & technology is what he has been doing for the last 18 years at Foshay Learning Center."

Mr. Newhouse has taken the initiative and implemented project-based learning activities such as robotics into the classroom in order to make math and science more meaningful and exciting. He has written numerous grants and has spearheaded, organized, and served as lead educator for the NASA Summer of Innovation (SOI) STEM Camps. These camps serviced students in all of Los Angeles County as a free summer program for two years.

Because of his efforts, thousands of underserved students at his Title I school have learned about rocketry, robotics, and aerospace. He has transformed the culture in his school and community by creating passionate students, supportive parents, and staff who understand the importance of a STEM education. Mr. Newhouse is preparing disadvantaged youth for the STEM careers of the 21st Century.

He is the lead mentor/coach of Foshay Robotics Team 597, where students are taught to "Think Globally, Start Locally.” Students learn the engineering design process, brainstorming, systems engineering, the mechanics of robotics, CAD, programming, and wiring. Students become versed in intangible values such as resource allocation, trouble shooting, time management, project management, personal accountability, information accessing, creativity, innovation, problem solving, and commitment so they can assume leadership roles as the next generation of STEM professionals.

Mr. Newhouse's Robotics Team puts an enormous amount of emphasis on community outreach and volunteering. Members are required to do at least 200 hours of community service with numerous charity organizations such as AIDS Walk, Breast Cancer Awareness, blood drives, and much more. At The Gobble, Gobble Give Charity, his students have helped serve over 15,000 meals to the less fortunate for the past five years.

Mr. Newhouse served as the Math Department Chair for over 10 years, working diligently and collaboratively with the math teachers and the lead teachers from his school's three California Partnership Academies. He has established an Engineering Pathway for both middle school and high school students and receives Perkins Grant funding for career technical education using the rigorous Project Lead the Way. 

Mr. Newhouse is so dedicated to his students and the community. He works tirelessly after school and on weekends to make sure his robotics team and his students are prepared. He is never alone in his room, as students are there before school, during lunch and nutrition, and after school. The middle school students have such joy on their faces as they demonstrate their presentations and their underwater robots. He has been the mission science teacher for many years and takes the middle school students to USC after school and on weekends to develop and present their science projects.

Mr. Newhouse is not only generous with his time; he is generous with his own money.  He spends countless dollars feeding students, transporting students and purchasing supplies for his students and classroom.

He is so sensitive to every child’s needs that when several students had food allergies on an out of state field trip to St Louis, Missouri, he took these students to a specialty shop so they could have the food that they needed throughout the week. Unfortunately, the parents could not afford to give money to these students for their special dietary needs, so Mr. Newhouse purchased the food for them. This is the type of kindness and thoughtfulness he exhibits at all times. He is so respectful to students, and when discipline is needed, he is so kind in delivering it. The message gets across. but the child’s dignity and self-esteem remains intact. He is able to exhibit this type of thoughtfulness to students K-12. It is remarkable to see!

"I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Newhouse and the lives he has changed through the skills he teaches and the example he sets," said Okur. "The large number of students who have become engineers and have graduated from top colleges has been a direct result of the opportunities he has provided. He has transformed this entire school and community."