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DreamYard Prep Teacher Is Leading A Digital Revolution In Bronx

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Rudy Blanco

A bold and inspiring high school digital learning teacher from Bronx is Honored’s June 2017 national Honoree.

Rudy Blanco has almost single-handedly launched a digital revolution in his Bronx community. At DreamYard Prep public high school, Blanco sensed a knowledge gap and boldly proposed a new position for himself - “technology coordinator” - to educate students on essential digital skills and to train teachers in the use of online resources. His unwavering confidence in his students’ abilities has allowed them to soar to new heights; his “Mouse Squad” of student techies now trains teachers and students in the skills they have acquired in his class. As a colleague says, “The kids know he believes in them, that’s the thing.  It’s asset-based: You guys have something to offer the world.”

The Honored award is focused on the Honoree’s important impact on one student. In Blanco’s case, that student is Noorjahan “Mimi” Aktar, who has found her life transformed by his teaching. Mimi says, “Mr. Blanco really taught me what being a leader meant.  He would ask, ‘What do you think is the next best step?’ instead of giving us all the answers. Because that’s what you have to do in life.  ou have to learn to take matters into your own hands.”

Blanco’s story was composed by journalist John Lancaster, former Washington Post Bureau Chief. To read the full story and see photos of Blanco with his students, please visit the Honored website here.

About Honored

Honored is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to recognizing and rewarding exceptional K-12 teachers, with a larger mission of elevating the status of teaching in this country. Each month we shine a spotlight on our Honorees by giving them a $5,000 cash award and sharing the stories, composed by world-class writers, of how they have changed students’ lives. Our Honorees teach any and all subjects at public, public charter, and private schools across the country. Honored’s National Advisory Board includes luminaries such as the internationally bestselling author Michael Lewis, DonorsChoose.org Founder Charles Best, Teach for America Founder Wendy Kopp, and FEED Co-founder Lauren Bush Lauren.

For more information about Honored, please visit www.honored.org. For regular updates on Honored and our monthly Honorees, follow and like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About DreamYard Project

DreamYard uses the arts to inspire youth, public schools and communities in the Bronx by committing to sustainable learning opportunities along an educational pathway, from pre-K through high school graduation. Through partnerships with 45 public schools in the Bronx, DreamYard Prep High School, and the DreamYard Art Center, they work with over 10,000 young people each year. The nationally-recognized, free programming opportunities include theater, poetry, dance, audio and visual production, photography, fashion design and Maker, all focused on fostering the creative development of young social change agents.

For more information, please visit here.



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Thomas Lockhart

was born June 8, 1953. Mr. Lockhart is a former Bronx resident from the Marble Hill section, and attended The Bronx High School of Science and Manhattan College. A former All-American basketball player at both institutions, he left for Europe in 1976 to pursue a professional career after a brief encounter with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Continuing his education he actively plunged into corporate marketing communications with international companies like Philips, Alstom, Qiagen Instruments, KPMG, European Space Administration, ABN-Amro Bank and the Port of Rotterdam, while continuing to play ball and coach. Teaching English and advertising in Holland led to the setup of Ideas Unlimited, his own International Business Communications firm. Mr. Lockhart has lived and worked in various countries for the past 33 years, speaks German, French, Dutch and is currently learning Italian. Now residing near Zurich Switzerland, he has three children, Jarrett, 31 Chief of Staff with the Bronx City Council, 14th District, Maraya, 21 and Malik, 11. Tom is currently serving as Communications Manager and Asst. Operations Coordinator of the Marble Hill Reunion and Development Project.