Maryland- Maple Elementary School has changed since his new teacher Ray Washington helps students to keep in line.
He formed the Marching Lions with students from fourth and fifth grades, who are responsible for nominated him for this award.
This school means a lot to him, not only because of the kids, but also because he attended this school as a child. Here, he learned to play drums, an ability he continued his studies at Morgan State University.
“I am very proud. I can’t wait”, he claimed because it is time for his students to perform at his alma mater. He added “I run practice just like I did in college. I run it like college as far as the respect and the no talking — I expect that from them.”
Two years ago, he started as a substitute teacher, thinking it was going to be temporary. Now, he was able to create a strong connection with his students. A connection that helped him build the marching band, get uniforms. He teaches them with all his passion and dedication.
One of his students, Hallmark Pinanzu who is the drum major said “It’s a really good experience,” to have him as a teacher and to be in that position in the band. He is really pleased with it.
Washington is glad for the students and parents support, it means a lot to him to foster students´ talents.
He is aware of each student’s lifestyle. How difficult some of their lives are so generally, he is more than a teacher. He is a counselor, a friend, or even, a father for these kids.
Washington is waiting to see what the future will bring to his students to be there and empower them to succeed in whatever they set their minds on.