Golden Apple: Leon DeBerry

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Leon DeBerry stays very busy with his 5th graders. He teaches Math, a subject that didn’t always come easy for him. But he has a passion for the subject that he passes on to these students.

“Positive reinforcement,” DeBerry says. “Letting them know they can do it. No matter what the problem may be they just have to persevere and know that they can do it.”

Mr. DeBerry helps the children realize they’ll need to know math long after they leave Blythe Elementary School.

“In every facet of life, Math is used. I tell them all the time as adults they’re going to use it. They just have to embrace what we’re giving them and take that opportunity to be their very best.”

Mr. DeBerry knows that he and the great team at Blythe are the last stop for these 5th graders before middle school.

“We just let them know that they can do it. We let them know how important it is, how important an education is, and how they just need to take in what we’re giving them. Even if they don’t get it the first time, it’s okay, just keep trying. You will get it.”

And none of his success would be possible without his family. Mr. DeBerry used to teach his cousins when they were children and he continues to lean on those family ties for support.

“It’s such an advantage,” he says. “Teaching is hard. But when you have that family foundation that continues to encourage you and lets you know that you can do it and you’re making a difference, that’ what gets me up every morning, and just come and be the very best teacher that I can be to the students.”

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