State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell chose an Escondido elementary teacher as one of five California teachers of the year. His name is Alex Kajitani, a math teacher at Mission Middle School in Escondido Union School District.

Here’s an excerpt from O’Connell’s press release:

“Alex Kajitani is an original thinker who teaches to a different beat, and it is due to his rather unorthodox approach that his math students seldom miss a beat either,” O’Connell said. “Alex, who is known as the Rappin’ Mathematician, uses the strong beat of rap music to make math, as well as the world, more relevant to his students. He helps them learn in a way that is positive, engaging, and lasting.”

The press releases also includes an excerpt from Mr. Kajitani’s application:

By being teachers, and embodying the commitment that is inherent to living and working as teachers, we are inspiring, creating, and invoking in our students the pride and confidence to make this world a better place.

EMILY ALPERT

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