Brian Tussey
Northeast High School
High School English as a Second Language and English Language Arts

What factors influenced your decision to become a teacher? Identify what you consider to be your greatest contributions to and accomplishments in education.
I wanted to become a teacher to promote equity and fairness. Students like myself from low-income backgrounds are all too often excluded from higher ed opportunities and careers due to inequity. First-generation Americans face even more barriers. They can have difficulties with forming connections in their communities as a result of language, even though bilingualism is considered one of the most valuable assets in the workplace. My goal is to build relationships and connections with students and families to assist in navigating life in the United States as well as equipping them with the tools to navigate college and careers.

Describe a project or initiative that you have led or been involved with that contributed to increasing equity in education and opportunity for students in your school.
I have led a personal initiative to be more involved with parents of ELL students. Because many parents of ELLs do not speak English, they are often in the dark about student progress and issues at school. To alleviate this, I committed to reaching out as often as possible to keep parents informed. Many times, parents say I am the first person who has ever contacted them about their student’s progress. I conduct home visits, deliver grade reports and talk with parents regularly to keep them updated and feel included in the school despite language barriers.