Position: Mathematics-Career Technical Education Teacher, grades 6-12
School: Foshay Learning Center
School District: Los Angeles Unified School District
City, State: Los Angeles, California
About the Nominee: Darryl Newhouse was nominated by a student, Jason Mares. Mr. Newhouse teaches at-risk students from inner-city South Los Angeles. About 82% of the families in the neighborhood he teaches in live at or below the National Poverty level, and almost 63% of his students live in single-family households. Despite these challenges, Mr. Newhouse is an educator who has worked tirelessly to bring passion, inspiration, excitement and opportunities to an underserved population of African American and Latino students.
Mr. Newhouse has been teaching STEM to students at Foshay Learning Center for more than 20 years. He has taught literally thousands of students about mathematics, robotics, the engineering design process, brainstorming and computer programming. He has shown his students that a career in STEM is quite possible and achievable, regardless of socioeconomic status. Mr. Newhouse also teaches students the 21st century life skills needed for any career, such as problem solving, critical thinking skills, time management, accountability, information accessing, habits of minds, creativity, innovation, commitment and “Gracious Professionalism.”
Mr. Newhouse provides a safe haven in his classroom where students are allowed to be themselves. He has created an environment where students aren’t judged, but nurtured. This way, they can develop their fullest potential. He has developed a support network of passionate female mentors that work with him inside and outside of the classroom to ensure Gender Equity as students learn the mechanics of robotics and STEM.
Mr. Newhouse has generated passion and inspiration within his community. He teaches his students about the importance of volunteering and community service. Members of his high school Robotics Team are required to do at least 200 hours of community service. He stresses that by volunteering, team members take ownership and responsibility for what goes on in the community. His students’ year-round activities include Books & Toys for Tots and the LA City Bike Giveaway, where students help put together bicycles and hand them out to families during the Christmas holiday. Other activities his students participate in include the LA AIDS Walk, Breast Cancer Awareness Week & Walk, “Walk for the Cure”- Bone Marrow Awareness (“Be the Match”), “Say No to Drugs Walk,” and the Multiple Sclerosis Walk. His Robotics Team members are active in Project Read to Achieve, where they share the joy of reading with elementary and middle school aged children. The Robotics Team is also active in 9-1-1 for Kids, a program where they visit elementary classes and teach the children how and when to use 911. Another program his students volunteer for is “Banking on your Future,” which teaches middle school students about financial literacy. Mr. Newhouse sparks passion in his students and teaches them about the importance of community service and volunteering.
How does Mr. Newhouse bring excitement and opportunities in his community? In 2010, NASA rolled out its pilot program “NASA Summer of Innovation (SOI),” a direct result of President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” initiative. STEM lessons would focus on rocketry, meteorology, aviation and robotics. Mr. Newhouse’s robotics team recruited, educated and serviced over 1500 middle school students, hosting STEM Camps during the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Many of these student leaders involved with his NASA STEM program are now working as professional engineers in the corporate world.
Members of his robotics team also provide after school math tutoring three days a week for both elementary and middle school students. To make science more exciting, the team implemented a program called "Mission Science.” Team members use a standards-based curriculum to teach lessons and perform scientific experiments with elementary & middle school students. Mr. Newhouse has helped create and mentor over 60 FIRST LEGO League middle school robotics teams over the past four years.
Mr. Newhouse also served as the Math Department Chair for over ten years, working diligently and collaboratively with the math teachers, as well as the lead teachers from three California Partnership Academies. Last year, Mr. Newhouse wrote and received a Perkins grant for Career Technical Education and established a Project Lead the Way Engineering Academy for both middle and high school students. Over 200 middle school and high school students will benefit from activity-based learning projects. Moreover, Mr. Newhouse has had an International Award winning FIRST Robotics Competition Team at Foshay since 2001. His classroom is alive with energy as his students work collaboratively in an International Baccalaureate environment, where they work on real life challenges and problems.