Sherrie Gahn was the principal at East Las Vegas' Whitney Elementary School, where in 2011, 518 out of 610 pupils were living with their families in motels, if they had anywhere to stay at all. Pained by the plight of her students, she appealed for donations from businesses and individuals across the country. Her message to the parents was simple: Keep their kids in school, and she would take care of the rest.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
An elementary school dropout is the saddest kind of dropout.
And she delivered. Gahn used the donated money to buy clothes and food for her students, get them haircuts, pay for dentists and optometrists, and in some cases even pay their goddamn rent. The story is so heartwarming that even Justin Bieber, himself the child of a single mother, chipped in with a $100,000 donation and a special performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011. He did it again in 2013, with a $150,000 donation and stopover at the school. Good lord, Sherrie Gahn really did the impossible: She made Justin Bieber seem likable.
Michael Rozman/Las Vegas Sun
Seriously, look at how non-punchable he is.
The Teacher Who Travels Hours By Donkey To Educate Underprivileged Children
via New Hero Project
Luis Soriano's passion for educating children was ingrained from the beginning: He became a teacher at the age of 16, when most of us were still making up nasty nicknames for Mrs. Mickhead (more like Mrs. ... Sickhead! Yeah!!). Soriano discovered that children living in the so-called "abandoned regions" of Magdalena, Colombia, were missing out on education -- all due to the trivial matter of being surrounded by groups of bandits and guerrillas. You have to come up with a better excuse than that if you want to miss Soriano's class: He loaded up his donkeys and embarked on a knowledge delivery quest to the most dangerous regions of Colombia.
Spreading an assload of learning wherever he went.
Soriano created a mobile library called the "Biblioburro" (book donkey) in 1990. And ever since, he has spent Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings riding two donkeys named Alfa and Beto and a cart of books to visit 15 different poverty-stricken villages. He provides homework help, teaches geography, and has children read or listen to stories.
The free donkey rides are just a bonus.
Over the 4,000 hours that Soriano has spent riding to and from villages, he has encountered serious perils. On one trip he shattered his leg after falling off one of the donkeys. During another trek he was assailed by bandits who were disappointed to find that the only treasure Soriano was carrying was education. So they tied him to a tree and stole a copy of Brida, a novel about the pursuit of knowledge. Because bandits love situational irony.
We appreciate everything teachers do, but of course there are more than a few who are a bit ... misguided. See what we mean in 7 Spectacularly Crazy Lessons Taught By Real Teachers and 4 Teachers Who Just Went Nuts On The Job.
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