The 2022 National Teacher of the Year will speak as part of the Poindexter Lecture series at Sul Ross State University on Monday, April 17, from 6 to 7 p.m.
All SRSU students, faculty and staff, and the community are invited to attend.
The lecture will be held in an online forum and the link, meeting ID and password can be found at https://www.sulross.edu/event-calendar/national-teacher-of-the-year-presentation/.
A 25-year veteran of the classroom, Kurt Russell was first inspired to become a teacher in middle school when he encountered his first Black male teacher. Now as 2022 National Teacher of the Year, he plans to advocate for classrooms to better reflect the students within them — from a curriculum that reflects their backgrounds and identities to a more diverse teaching profession.
Russell teaches history at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, where he was born and raised. His classes include African American history, which he has taught since the late 1990s, and Race, Gender and Oppression, a class he developed. He also serves as faculty advisor for the student-led Black Student Union, whose work has led to positive impacts for students across racial groups.
In addition to his classroom and extracurricular duties, Russell is the head coach for the school’s varsity basketball team. He sees basketball as an extension of the classroom, and a place where young people can learn about working together and how to handle both adversity and success.
Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history and a minor in Black Studies from the College of Wooster, and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University. He continues to take courses in child development at Oakland City University.
He was previously recognized as Teacher of the Year by the Oberlin Heritage Center and the Oberlin chapter of the NAACP, and as Lorain County Basketball Association Coach of the Year and the Northeast Ohio Coach of the Year.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program has been the most prestigious teacher recognition program in the U.S. for almost 70 years. The program provides a platform for exceptional educators to elevate issues that affect teachers and their students, expand their leadership roles and inform policy and practice. It also celebrates teachers as one of the most impactful figures in the lives of every student.
The series is named for John B. Poindexter, a Houston entrepreneur and philanthropist and a long-time supporter of Sul Ross State University. In his honor, Sul Ross State established the School of Professional Studies John B. Poindexter Lecture Series in 2010. The lecture highlights outstanding individuals who have been successful in their respective professions and allows them to share their stories with students, faculty and staff, and the community at large.