Joseph Ragan was nominated by his colleague, Nicole Danz.
Mr. Ragan is the type of teacher who, when you walk into a room, greets you with a "good morning" with a myriad of voices, waves, or follow-up questions about your day. He's not only like this with teachers, but with students and parents, too.
This year, Mr. Ragan is the gifted teacher, resource team lead, robotics teacher, news crew teacher, and STEM lead. He encourages students to find their purpose at Grove Park by creating opportunities for growth outside the normal classroom. He provides the students with activities such as coding, flying airplanes, building robots, 3D printing, playing chess, etc. It might sound normal for a gifted teacher to be "required" to teach these things. However, at Grover Park, students struggle with high poverty, behavioral challenges, poor attendance, and academic deficiencies. Mr. Ragan considers all of those barriers while providing instruction along with his "fun and required" activities.
"I speak about Joe as a colleague, but I'm also a parent of a student at this school," said Danz. "My own child is incredibly introverted and bright, but Joe has taken the time to bring out her shine in the classroom as she goes to his STEM lab. One time, I came by early and saw her on the floor with a group of other children coding the robot in first grade and speaking with other students (something not so normal for her). Joe not only acts like this with my child because she's a teacher's child; he is this way with all children."
"Joe is the example we all follow as learners at Grove Park," said Danz. "He makes coming to school enjoyable because I know I can share ideas, watch him interact with others, and motivate others all in a single moment. Nominating him as a LifeChanger is just one way I can show appreciation for the effort and time he gives every day for our Grove Park Gators."