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Adam Pusateri of Rockton has been a teacher for 12 years, the past five at Durand High School. Pusateri initially planned to be a music educator, but the right position eluded him, so he returned to school to earn a math endorsement. “I knew with every fiber of my being that I belonged in the education field and could make a difference … every rejection made me work that much harder.” He easily found a job as a 5th grade math teacher, proving, “no matter how many setbacks I may experience or how long it takes, I can achieve my goals.” In a letter of recommendation, Jennifer Robertson, said Pusateri works with “struggling students, students with individualized education plans and 504 plans, students with behavior problems and gifted students.” She told us, “He is a teacher who is teaching for all the right reasons. He is amazing at what he does. He cares that the students understand math.” Bringing diversity into math is not as natural as it may be in other types of courses, but it’s still very important. Pusateri finds topics from throughout the world and uses math to explore them. For example, he “discussed the geometry used in Alebrijes designs for Mexican folk art …. This not only helps to make students feel seen and included, but also broadens the horizons of my students and helps them realize there is much more to the world than the small corner they are from.” During class, Pusateri repeatedly checks in with all students. He gives praise and encouragement for each attempt, right or wrong, making adjustments as needed to meet their levels of understanding. Several classroom observers commented about how knowledgeable and well-prepared Pusateri was and how he actually managed to make math fun and understandable, even for those who don’t particularly enjoy math. Did you groan when your child came home with math assignments to be done using Common Core? Pusateri heard it. He also saw it in student performance. He developed a tool to help parents to increase their ability to help their children. He created videos for every lesson and a QR code on each assignment linking to that lesson’s video. Apparently, Pusateri’s YouTube videos are quite successful! “Six years later, my YouTube channel has expanded to include Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 videos and has 800 subscribers. My videos have been watched more than 220,000 times in multiple countries around the world.” Besides being Pusateri’s colleague, Robertson is the parent of a past student of his. She confirmed that his videos helped her daughter through one of her weaker subjects and that watching them also enabled her to help her daughter. This student, now a college freshman, told Robertson how she continues to use what she learned from Pusateri. “I am doing great in my math class right now only because of him. Hands down, best math teacher I’ve ever had. My new math professor is pretty good, but she’ll never be Mr. Pusateri.” Fellow teacher Krista Searls wrote in her recommendation letter that students will often ask her for permission to go see Pusateri about their math. “I know that he connects with students, is willing to do what it takes to help them learn, and will use all technologies, strategies, and time needed to help high school students learn math. May I add that his dry sense of humor is a delight. In these COVID times, a laugh helps us all.”