‘Outstanding’ LAHS teacher honored

Photo By: Ciera Pasturel/Los Altos High School Talon
Photo Ciera Pasturel/Los Altos High School Talon

The San Francisco 49ers and Symetra Financial recently recognized Los Altos High School history teacher Robert Freeman as an outstanding educator. San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders flank student-nominator John Naumovski and Freeman.

The San Francisco 49ers and Symetra Financial recently recognized Los Altos High School history teacher Robert Freeman as one of the Bay Area’s Outstanding Teachers of the Year.

The 49ers partnered with Symetra Financial to honor teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication, leadership and instructional skills in the classroom.

49ers corporate sales executive Tyson Lamp said the program recognizes 16 teachers throughout the year who have been nominated by students, parents and fellow teachers.

Los Altos High junior John Naumovski and Mary Crum, a mother of two of Freeman’s pupils, nominated Freeman as an exceptional teacher. Freeman is founder and director of One Dollar For Life, a nonprofit organization that addresses Third World poverty by collecting $1 from high school students and channeling the funds into small-scale infrastructure projects in developing countries.

“Mr. Robert Freeman, quite simply, is the best teacher I have ever had,” Naumovski wrote in his nomination letter. “While virtually every other student who has had Mr. Freeman has the same opinion, I am especially appreciative of his extraordinary devotion to his students.”

Naumovski said that Freeman’s teaching style is different from other history teachers’ and makes the topic much more engaging.

“He has come to a brilliant balance between broad, sophisticated concepts and key facts,” Naumovski said. “If a standard history class can be compared to a disorganized pile of bricks (facts), Mr. Freeman’s class is analogous to an elegant yet structurally sound brick house. Essentially, Mr. Freeman seeks to instill a coherent and deep understanding of history in his students.”

Crum lauded Freeman for his unique teaching style and his desire to inspire his students.

“Mr. Freeman is interested in the quality of, and the opportunity to inspire students everywhere,” she wrote in her nomination. “It started with the idea of how to give every student an opportunity to make a difference in the world – with no impossible barriers to prevent all students from doing something small to collectively make a huge difference.”

Crum said her daughters’ lives changed for the better after becoming involved in Freeman’s One Dollar for Life organization.

“Mr. Freeman’s idea is beautiful in its simplicity – asking that every student contribute just one dollar toward a fund to build schools and water systems and improve the quality of life and access to education for students around the world,” she wrote.

Freeman received a check for $1,000. History teacher Pete Bjorklund won the award last year.

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