Randall Redlien, Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015

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Teacher of the Year Randall Redlien assists student Natalie Baez with a challenging practice test.

About 15 years ago at the encouragement of his wife, a sixth grade teacher, he reluctantly agreed to tutor a young student in math with his spare time. Witnessing the student’s grades and self-esteem improve dramatically got him hooked. He increased his tutoring to 20-30 hours per week and soon had to turn down new students on a regular basis. After the next several years of working dawn to dusk seven days a week simultaneously as a full time financial professional and part time math tutor, Mr. Redlien noted two important realizations. First, there was a great need for quality math education in the Miami area. And second, it was time for him to pursue teaching full time. In 2009 despite a district hiring freeze at the time, Mr. Redlien earned his teaching certificate at MDC and immediately started hunting in earnest for a position. He says he knew in his heart when he walked into DASH for his interview that this was where he was meant to be.

Now in his sixth year at DASH, Mr. Redlien’s teaching assignments have included Intensive Math, Intensive Algebra I, Algebra I, Intensive Geometry, Regular & Honors Algebra II, Math Analysis/Trigonometry, Honors Pre-Calculus, and Advanced Topics. At the request of administration and his department, he has agreed to teach 7 classes per year when needed. He tutors during lunch (whether teaching 5 or 7 classes per year) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. He does not mind that students from his own classes as well as students from other classes take advantage of this extra help he offers. Mr. Redlien has a reputation among students for his patience. He pushes them and demands performance but does not get upset when expectations aren’t met. “I admire so many of these young people for what they do despite the obstacles they have/had to overcome,” he said.

Mr. Redlien places high priority in his classroom on developing focus as a skill, on strengthening vocabulary as well as nonverbal representations such as detailed drawings, on students supporting their answers when challenged, on overcoming frustration, and on taking responsibility for oneself and one another.

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