Whitney Bay and Yasmeet Cheema nominated George King for Class Acts. Bay and Cheema said King is an amazing teacher who treats students as if they are part of a family when they are in his class. King has high expectations of his students, and everyone at the school knows it, Bay and Cheema added.
• Name: George King
• Age: 63
• City of residence: Turlock
• Occupation: English teacher at Turlock Junior High School (full time) and Modesto Junior College (part time)
• Family: Wife, Nancy, and son, Colin
• Education background: Bachelor's degree in English at San Jose State University; master's in English at College of Notre Dame; and master of education degree at Fresno Pacific College
• Teaching experience: 36 years -- 26 as a teacher and 10 as a principal.
Why did you get into teaching? An English professor at San Jose State opened my eyes to the wonders of great literature.
What is your favorite part about being a teacher? Seeing the "learning light bulb" switch on in a student's eyes.
What is the most challenging part of your job? Channeling the energy of my students in a positive direction.
What is the most important lesson you've learned? Students do not care about how much I know until they know how much I care.
What is your favorite teaching tool or activity? The mini-DVD camera I use to record student speeches.
What's next in your classroom? Essays, essays and more essays
What advice do you have for students? There is no paycheck for you while you are getting your education, but there will be one when you use what you have learned.
What advice do you have for parents? Listen to your children, speak to your children, read to or with your children, and write them notes telling them how much you love them.
What will it take to improve academic success in the valley? A longer school day and a longer school year.
How do you reach students not interested in school? I try to make a personal connection to see what their interests really are and then attempt to tap into them.
What one area should schools put more emphasis on? The arts and bilingual education.
If you could change one thing about the current educational system, what would it be and why? Remove the "legislated handcuffs" from teachers and let them do what they do best: teach.
What would surprise people about your job? Fourteen-year-olds are really smart, really creative and really funny.
What are your future plans? Possible retirement from the junior high in June, but continue to teach part time at MJC.