When you hear “Oscars,” your first thought probably isn’t, “education” – but the two were more connected than you might think at last week’s award ceremony. Two winners, Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali of “Moonlight” and Best Original Song winner Justin Paul of “La La Land,” made a point of thanking their teachers in their acceptance speeches.
Before the show started, there was another shout out to educators. Topeka, Kansas Superintendent Tiffany Anderson was selected by PricewaterhouseCoopers to walk the red carpet as a part of their effort aimed at “putting purpose” on the red carpet. Before becoming Superintendent in Topeka, Anderson worked in Jennings, Missouri to open a food pantry for students and their families, install washers and dryers in schools, and expand learning opportunities. Under her leadership, the school district regained state accreditation, which they lost nearly 20 years before.
We’re thrilled to see Oscar winners using their visibility to support teachers, and excited to see PricewaterhouseCoopers celebrating an educator who’s doing her best to make education better. We hope to see more people follow suit and give teachers the respect they deserve.