LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Daniel Bonnett

Position: Math Teacher
School: Riverside High School
School District: Kanawha County Schools
City, State: Charleston, WV

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Daniel Bonnett was nominated by an anonymous parent of a student.

"I do not believe he realizes his potential and what he does for each and every one of his students," said the nominator. "For example, he has worked with my daughter for the past year and half. He has helped her improve her SAT scores from not qualifying for the Promise Scholarship to the point where she not only qualifies for the scholarship, but for the Honors College at West Virginia University, as well."

Because of his tutoring success with several students, Mr. Bonnett has taken it upon himself to provide a two-hour tutoring session each week for anyone who wants mathematical test prep for the ACT and SAT exams.  Because of his reputation, his first session had over 50 students from all over Kanawha County and the state of West Virginia. These sessions are done remotely via Microsoft Teams, yet the students feel as if they're learning in-person with Mr. Bonnett in a normal classroom setting.

Even though Mr. Bonnett has only been at Riverside High School for two years, his years of teaching at multiple schools and 30+ years of tutoring have created a caring, but stern and responsible reputation among his students.  He pushes them to their fullest capacity of knowledge and allows them to feel confident in their knowledge.  Students who have Mr. Bonnett for over a year typically request to have him as their upper level teacher or tutor.

When Mr. Bonnett started teaching at Kanawha County Schools, he created hope and promise in students' futures. His work creates a positive atmosphere for the students' learning. They have become receptive of his requests and fulfill every task with the utmost promise. On a recent exam, one of his students said they were so excited to receive an A on it. It was the first time this student ever received an A on one of his exams, and they were so proud of themselves. Mr. Bonnett was proud of this student, too.

Mr. Bonnett has taken it upon himself to get math back into the forefront in all areas of his district. He oversees the Virtual Tutoring program for Kanawha County students. Most of his students have successfully maintained an A/B average in national virtual classes. At times, he has had 21 students at one time during a virtual in-person session, ranging from fourth grade mathematics all the way through Calculus during a two-hour session. It takes an unbelievable person to work on such a wide range of subject matter.

"Mr. Bonnett assisted my daughter through pre-calculus/trigonometry last year, and he continues to tutor her through calculus this year," said the nominator. "He is the best math instructor she has ever worked with, and she attended private school for many years. Mr. Bonnett surpasses every other math teacher she has ever encountered. He gets results and is able to explain concepts in such a way that students understand and build confidence in their knowledge and skills."

Mr. Bonnett's commitment to all of his students has been spectacular and unbreakable.  He has worked with a wide variance of students ranging from low to high levels, but he expects the same for each type of student. When this is seen with all of his students, they achieve the most amazing success in learning mathematics that they have experienced.  The best part is that the students retain the knowledge. For example, every one of his students knows how to solve logarithmic and exponential problems through his method of a "cinnamon roll." 

"I was amazed myself, and I actually understood it when my own daughter showed me, too," said the nominator. "These are techniques that need to be done for all caliber of students.  Mr. Bonnett is an old-school teacher with a new-school caring attitude, and the students are magnetized towards him."

Comments (1)

Donna Greear Posted over a year ago

Both of my daughters have been tutored by Mr. Bonnett (middle school through college courses) and he has been a tremendous help to them. Neither has had him in class, as he doesn’t teach in their district, but my younger daughter has stated that if she had the opportunity to have him in class, she would transfer to his school, Riverside, in a heartbeat. That’s quite a statement coming from a shy student who battles anxiety due to change. Mr. Bonnett has a way of connecting with the students that makes them feel good about the subjects and themselves. I will continue to hire him as needed for tutoring services as his availability allows. He cares about teaching the subject matter in a way that students of all backgrounds and levels can learn and continue to move to the next class. Mr. Bonnett deserves this award, and even more!