WEST ORANGE, NJ - Kyrie Irving, who grew up in West Orange and now stars for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, is also part of another team. He has teamed up with his former English teacher, Laura Bush, at Roosevelt Middle School in a marketing campaign with TeachersCount that recognizes the impact that teachers make in students' lives.
The TeachersCount campaign began in 2006 to promote their mission "to raise the status of the teaching profession and provide resources to the education community. Using a national campaign and related initiatives TeachersCount is working to create a permanent culture of teacher appreciation in the United States."
TeachersCount is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and also provides resources to the education community.
The most successful efforts to raise awareness of the organization has been through its marketing campaigns, which pair celebrities with the teachers that influenced their lives in a positive way. Irving, who has proven to be a force on and off the court, giving back to communities by hosting basketball camps in New Jersey, Cleveland and Australia, credited his eighth-grade teacher at RMS, Laura Bush, for teaching him "how to be creative, and how to think outside the box."
Bush, born and raised in Verona, attended the University of Delaware, majoring in English and Journalism. She took a job as a preschool teacher after graduation, becoming a certified English teacher. Bush received her Master of Arts in Reading and her Reading Specialist Certification from Montclair State University.
Bush enters her 10th year at Roosevelt Middle School and notes, "As a teacher, I don't often have the pleasure of seeing my 'finished product,' so when a student comes back to visit after he leaves RMS, and I have the opportunity to see how he's succeeded, it's a truly rewarding experience."
Irving was part of Bush's first eighth-grade English class. Of Irving, she says "He taught me what it felt like to be successful and make a difference, and in a profession where burn-out can easily happen within the first five years, those things are so incredibly important for a young teacher to experience."
Clearly, the staff at Roosevelt Middle School is excited to see their teammate represent the school and be recognized for her outstanding achievements over the past several years. Principal Lionel Hush was ecstatic to share the news.
Poster versions of the ads are available through Scholastic. Ads have appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, People, O, and Country Weekly. Teachers can receive special discounts via the site.
To see other celebrities and their teachers, and to find out about TeachersCount resources, visit their website at http://teacherscount.org/.