Definitely not boring: Math teacher is this week’s Golden Apple Award winner

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — David Dai teaches math at the newly-opened and refurbished Barton Academy in Mobile.  But on the day we were to present his Golden Apple award we had to track him down at a scholars bowl competition at Bishop State.

“Aren’t you proud of us for tracking you down?” we asked.

“I saw someone walk by with a big check and I said, ‘woo, wonder what teacher is getting that,'” said Dai.

When he’s not leading students at scholar’s bowl competitions, he’s teaching math at Barton Academy.  All kinds of math: algebra 1, algebra 2, algebraic connections, geometry. And he’s good at it too. But what he’s also good at is building relationships with his students.

Barton’s principal, Amanda Jones said, “But what I think really sets him apart is his ability to connect with students to make them feel welcomed and loved and cared about.”

And that comes first hand from Kayden Crittenden. a student and the one who nominated Mr. Dai for the Golden Apple.

“Being in his classroom is different than any other classroom I’ve been in. He just makes the learning environment fun and it’s just not boring at all. Not boring, not boring,” she said.

If that’s not enough, Dai is also last year’s Mobile County High School Teacher of the year, and a finalist for state secondary teacher of the year. While the recognition is fine. Dai says his students are the real winners.

“The students, their energy. the facility, the faculty, the administration–every aspect of Barton Academy–just brightens my day. I look forward to getting up for work every single morning,” he said.

Our congratulations to David Dai and Barton Academy for a job well done.

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