After tallying all the votes, we are thrilled to announce Isaac Fudge of Richmond, Texas as the winner of our 2023 Teacher of the Year contest and $5,000 grand prize!
Dedication, passion, and the heart to inspire: these are the traits that define Isaac, this year’s Teacher of the Year.
Isaac shared some of his experiences and inspiration behind what led him to become a teacher and what drives his commitment to the classroom. Take a look below to learn more about this outstanding educator making an impact in his community!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
I was inspired to become a teacher by several people. Especially, my coaches that I had in High School and in college. Kevin Flanigan, Ray Karvis, Jeff Bowen, Joe Parker, and more. These men believed in me and showed me that meaningful relationships and mentoring young people, is extremely important and impactful.
The impact that they made in my life, helped shape me into the man that I am today. I decided to give back and help share this with the next generation of young people and do my part in educating them.
2. How did you learn about ToT and why did you choose it as your ACP?
I learned about Teachers of Tomorrow through several colleagues and education professionals. Teachers of Tomorrow has an outstanding reputation and track record that precedes itself. I was told that Teachers of tomorrow is the most thorough, yet practical ACP for educators, and I found this to be true.
I greatly enjoyed my experience with Teachers of Tomorrow, and highly recommend them as the go-to, Tier 1 ACP for aspiring educators.
3. What words of advice do you have for new or aspiring educators?
Know going in, that kids can subconsciously sniff out when people are being disingenuous, like no other. Be yourself, be genuine, and be intentional, each and every day. Understand the importance of being an educator, and the lifelong knowledge and memories that you are a part of in the students’ lives.
Don’t forget what it’s like to be sitting in their seats. Drop everything at the door each day and be present for the students. Always over prepare, and never have an ego.
4. What is your favorite thing about being an educator?
This profession is a purpose driven career. It brings great amounts of fulfillment on a daily basis. I didn’t think that I would be in this career when I was in college. But now, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything different. The life skills, and lessons that you teach today’s youth, are amazing when you see them using them, and benefiting from them. But the mentorship, and relationships are beyond what you can put into words.
Young people just want genuine and quality adults to look up to and be around. If you can do that and be intentional daily with their best interest in mind, you will go home feeling fulfilled daily.
5. Is there anything else you would like to share regarding your journey as an educator?
I am very grateful, and a very blessed man. I get to work in the best career that there is. Each and every day has its challenges and rewards, and no day is the same as before. This job keeps you ready to come back for more every day. Seeing graduated students having success in their adult life brings it all back full circle, and provides reminders of the big picture, and how we help young people achieve success, and chase their dreams.
Celebrating Isaac’s Journey
Isaac Fudge’s journey is a testament to the profound impact one educator can have on countless lives. Through dedication and passion, he reminds us that teaching is not just a profession, but a calling that shapes the future.
As Helen Caldicott once remarked, “Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the Earth.”
Let us celebrate and draw inspiration from Isaac’s unwavering commitment to fostering a love of learning in every student he encounters.