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Get to Know Our 20 Finalists!
Tom Freesmeier has been teaching at Harlem Middle School for nine years. He teaches 8th grade Social Studies. According to one of his student nominators, he “made a vow at the beginning of the school year to make each and every one of his students enjoy Social Studies at least a little bit more than they already did and I think he's holding to it. Also, they put his Constitution Rap on Channel 13 News, so ... he's awesome!” Tom says, “Teaching is rewarding beyond my imagination. Being challenged to grow keeps these rewards coming. Managing the excitement in my current students and seeing that excitement still in my former students that I fostered years ago makes all these challenges, hard work and constant change worthwhile. I am blessed to have been placed in a profession that suits me and is so fun. I could not imagine doing anything else.” “I never look at my time as a teacher as work. I enjoy it too much. It is bigger than that. I influence. I listen. I change lives. And if only momentarily in the grand scheme, I give them an opportunity to be.”