Happy Birthday September 7th 1942
June 2015 In Retirement: FROM ALAN HASKVITZ, "Upon my retirement I want to THANK ALL MY STUDENTS, It is your Hard Work that Made it Possible for me to Achieve the Following Awards" . . .
|Short Story||Curriculum Vitae||Educational Highlights|
|Grants||State and Local Honors||Other Achievements|
|Speaking Engagements||Accomplishments||State Exam Increases|
Alan Paul Haskvitz
100 Best Teachers in the World
Haskvitz has been named the best teacher in California three times and the top educator in the entire country six times.
2016 "I'm Sorry I'm a Teacher" by award winning educator Al Haskvitz
For over 45 years I have enjoyed making a living teaching. It hasn’t been easy or lucrative, but it had its rewards, one of which was a secure retirement plan. Now, after reading the recent California Little Hoover Commission Report that recommends that public school retirements be reduced, even for those who are already retired, and the actions of the Wisconsin Republican Party in accusing teachers and their pensions and bargaining rights as mainly responsible for that state’s financial situation – I am sorry I became a teacher. I honestly didn’t mean to place so many states in danger of going bankrupt.
2016 I taught this student 25 years ago.
Hi Mr. Haskvitz,
I was in your Social Studies class in 1990-1991 at Suzanne Middle School. I was the Asian girl who you nominated for the $50 bond award and the student whose mom didn't come to my middle school graduation though you asked. I forgot the name of the award, but I do remember you. You were the best teacher I ever had!
Currently, I live in the Bay Area with my husband and two young daughters (ages 5 and 4). I went to UCLA for college and USC for my MBA. I started out in Healthcare Administration then went into Marketing for a decade only to come back to Healthcare Administration. I am a division manager at the Stanford School of Medicine and am fulfilled to know that my work has an indirect impact on patient care and research.
I am where I am because you saw the potential in me. Whenever I have tough days I think of all of the people who believed in me. You were one of them. You saw my potential at a young age and I am ever so grateful. This has carried me through challenging times over the years.
I just wanted to drop this note and say thank you. I have been meaning to send you this for many years now. It is long overdue.
With much gratitude,
8/22/2010 Alan Haskvitz been honored as the best teacher in the United States based on his students' performances. Haskvitz has been named the best teacher in California three times and the top educator in the entire country six times.
His nine-page resume also includes being inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and named the social studies International Teacher of the Year. He has coached basketball teams to regional and national championships and watched his students rake in more than $100,000 in prize money. "It's not so much what you do but the impact after they leave," he said. "I don't just teach a subject, I teach them about life." A Facebook page called "Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in Haskvitz" proves that he has done it well. "He taught you to pay attention, do your homework, take notes, notice what is the most important, prepare for test and write essays," writes Spencer Liem on the 251-member group's wall. "Everything and anything you needed to know to pass any and every class you'll ever take. His sarcastic jokes and lame remarks made him that much better."
8/2013 Of my 170 students, 167 finished in the state's top category and the other three had average scores. As such, this would make my classes the highest performing ones in California. Just showing you the benefits of using the Internet to help replace the textbook.
My school has seven sub-categories: low income, special education, ESL, and three minority groups.
"The school has four significant minorities: white, Latino, Pacific Islanders, and Asians. My system worked when I was teaching Mohawks, when I was teaching lower and middle class whites, as well as in this very multicultural school. Since you only see a child about 50 minutes a day you need to try and work to overcome a poor family situation.
My system works because I essentially just teach the test. My students used to pass state legislation, develop websites (they are still on the DMV and California Oregon Trail sites) and hold political candidate nights among other things. They rewrote the Los Angeles County voting poll rules, and helped with the State voter registration forms. They represented the nation in Rome for their technology project, addressed the United Nations, and told the City Council how to save a million dollars with better planning. They made a website..since ended, that showed how to improve voter turnout. The County had every city clerk listen to their ideas. And they published articles such as What Size Community Improves English Test Scores....and the list goes on. Don't do that anymore. If that is how they are going to play the game, fine with me. I isolated the factors that went into the test, developed a plan, and implemented it. Last year, of my 170 students,
160 finished in the State's highest two categories and several had perfect scores . By the way, no one in our District said a thing to me.
The point is that If they really think good teaching is about good scores so be it. I am sure all of you, know full well that they aren't. The problem is that they are like a rubric in which you make some subjective statements, give them a number and suddenly you have created an objective measuring tool.
And, in the end, after three years of increased test scores they will fall.....gravity. Read More
Program written for the School Board
Program Summary :
Take the students through the curriculum twice. In the first semester focus on factual material with weekly quizzes/tests. In the second semester reprise the scope and sequence stressing the h.o.t.s. (higher order thinking skills). A third vital component is the use of projects to give authenticity to the student learning in the second semester.
Cast Down Your Bucket Overview and Objective
In 2005 the social studies scores at Suzanne Middle School on the State's CST scale were 369. That was good, but not great. At that time it was decided to look at the changing school demographics and create a program that would utilize innovative ways to change the methods and presentation of the state mandated curriculum to better advantage in improving student social studies achievement. The goal was a 100 point increase.
After researching data on enhancing student performance strategies it was decided that the changes needed to be multifaceted and include considering the rate of maturity among eighth graders. Paramount among other ideas was the importance of empowering students to become more active in the assessment process and the use of higher order thinking skills. Added to that was a greater need to integrate their learning. Community involvement was another region noted so the students could learn how to apply their learning. Finally, the use of technology as both a tool of exploration and remediation was determined to be of significant value.
At the start of the 2006 school year the first changes were made. Because of the pace of student maturity in the early teens it was decided to review the material in the standards twice. The first time with the emphasis on acquisition of facts and later in the year with higher level thinking assignments. This gave the students the advantage of nearly six months of brain development. Research showed that testing is stressful and that the frontal lobes that deal with this are the last areas of the brain to develop so the extra time could make a difference. And it did. The second time through the material the students were able to link what they had previous learned and make more meaningful connections. For example, the first time through the students would make a timeline while later in the school year they could link the events with cause and effects relationships. Primary source materials could be more accurately understood as the students had a better understanding of the resource in terms of time and place. A more student centered curriculum was helped by using technology to help students pre-learn the materials. Homework assignments were designed to build better time management skills. Since research revealed that tests were an excellent teaching tool the students were given shorter ones more frequently to provide better teacher feedback and reduce test anxiety. The students were shown how to write multiple-choice assessments and use a modified Cornell note taking system that could be expanded as the year progressed. These helped them anticipate questions. In other words, they were being given the tools and practice to improve their own performances.
To provide validity to the importance of their work they applied their learning to several projects. Their studies of the Western Movement enabled them to create a PowerPoint that the California-Oregon Trail Association made available to its users. When they studied transportation they were able to link it to today and created content for the California Department of Motor Vehicles site. They also made a website that helps students understand the State History/Social Studies guidelines. Since the state standards stressed the importance of water they studied their community and developed a plan to save the town thousands of dollars on water and presented it to the City Council. It was chosen by Harvard University's Ash Foundation as a Golden Idea. There were more projects that built their knowledge base as well and enabled them to go into the State test with a positive attitude. Foremost in this regard was the writing and publishing of their own history textbook.
Over 100 Point Increase in Six Years
Since the program was implemented the schools’ social studies test scores have shown a fairly consistent increase in student performance even as the school expanded and now has seven sub-categories: four minorities, special education, low income, and ELL.
Suzanne Middle School Social Studies Scores
The success of the program can most objectively be seen in last year's test scores. Of the 170 students in the program, 160 placed in the state's top two categories. These results yielded a score of 473 indicating that their efforts were at the top of the state averages for social studies for all schools. This score was over 50 points above the district average as well.
The program meshes with the District’s mission that Kids Come First because that is exactly what the Cast Down Your Bucket Project advocates. By casting down their bucket the student is empowered to take command of the subject in a number of ways while building confidence as they learn how to learn.
Sustainable and Replicable
The program has been sustainable without additional cost, manpower, or resources to be implemented. The fact that it is now in its sixth year attests to its sustainability over time. It can be replicated in part or whole and the program can be visited by interested educators with approval. Of note, the program does not require additional teacher time.
Attitude is everything in teaching and yet it is ignored as part of the curriculum and, to the best of my knowledge, as a teacher preparation class. I think everyone would benefit if teachers were given more instruction and practice in dealing with student attitude.
Best Language Arts Scores
summary: a small city of 30,000 (in California) is the threshold for bilingual students to be forced to incorporate English in environments other than school within the community.
Al has spent over twenty years in the classroom.
He has taught at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, California for over a decade. In his first year at this school, the students' standardized state test scores were at the 22nd percentile level.
By using his methods and curriculum, student test scores went into the 94 percentile, the largest gain in history. Haskvitz has credentials to teach English, history, social studies, special education, gifted education, journalism, business and administration. His students routinely engage in activities that utilize their learning.
They have a "Feed the Homeless" garden that utilizes all recycled materials and water. They prepare a daily newsletter, On the Day You were Born, for the the local maternity wards. They have drafted and had passed state laws, rewritten and had accepted the voting poll rules for the County of Los Angeles and devised a plan to save 23 million gallons of water a year for their community. Haskvitz's students have also developed plans that ended graffiti in schools and the community, sponsored seeing eye dogs and educated the public about the history of their community. Haskvitz is one of the few teachers in America who has served as a city commissioner and worked as a volunteer in two cities --- where he lives and where he works.
His students have corresponded with world leaders on matters of concern as divergent as the Queen of England and General Noriega. They have their own website and hold public meetings for the community. Haskvitz's students have won national championships in art, basketball, essay writing, community service, and preserving the environment. Haskvitz has coached all major sports and his girl's team won both national and international tournaments.
Coping With Crisis
In school, at home and in their dreams, kids around the U.S. are dealing with the aftermath of Sept. 11
At Suzanne Middle School in Walnut, Calif., Alan Haskvitz interrupted his seventh-grade lesson on the Boston Tea Party to discuss the difference between civil disobedience and terrorism. “We pulled out maps,” he says. “We talked about how Arabs are not necessarily Muslims and vice versa. We handed out newspapers, and for the first time, instead of just reading the sports section, they wanted to take them home.”
- National Teachers Hall of Fame Inductee
- USA Today All Star Teacher
- Chosen 100 Most Influential Educators
- Reader's Digest Hero in Education
- Learning Magazine's Professional Best
National Middle Level Teacher of the Year
- National Exemplary Program
23 years of teaching experience with minority students
- Taught at every grade level and every core subject
- Selected one of the nation's top teachers by eight organizations
- Published 35 articles on successful educational practices
- Served on seven national committees and boards
- Speaker at over 20 conferences
Credentials and training in special and gifted education, history, administration, bilingual education, journalism, English, social studies, art, business, computers, museumology, Asian Studies.
Credentials from Canada, New York, and California
Experience in staff development, gifted curriculum design, administration, community relations, motivation.
Ten Years of University Education
Administrative credential, LaVerne University. Graduated in top percentile.
Master of Arts, American Studies (English and history) California State.
Bachelor of Science, journalism and business, Cal State. Distinguished Alumnus.
Associate of Arts, English, Chaffey Junior College. Distinguished Alumnus.
Chaffey High School, Ontario, California, Distinguished Alumnus.
Bachelor of Education, Memorial University.
OVER TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE
* Current Teacher, Walnut, California. Staff development presenter, nationwide. Developer of Reach Every Child, a resource guide for teachers and parents.
Audio-visual evaluator and design consultant, County Department of Education.
Tutor, multi-cultural students in English, art. Internet consultant.
* Past Lecturer, California University. Classes taught include social studies, methods and integrated studies.
Continuing education, University of California - California Assessment Program, consultant.
Adult Education, Durham School District, Oshawa, Ontario.
Administrator, Quest School for the Gifted, Pickering, Ontario.
SAS Creatve Teacher Finalist 2003
National Teachers Hall of Fame Member 1997
National Exemplary Middle Level Teacher, National Council for the Social Sciences.
National Exemplary Social Studies Program, NCSS.
America's Professional Best Teacher Award, Learning Magazine.
Hero in Education, Reader's Digest.
Campbell's 22 Best Teachers in America Award of Excellence.
Washington Medal, National Teacher Award, Freedom Foundation.
Christa McAuliffe National Award.
Robert Cherry International Award for Great Teachers
Leavey National Award for Private Enterprise Teaching in Economics
INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL TEACHING HONORS
National Bicentennial Teaching Award, Bicentennial Committee
Nation's Featured Social Studies Program, NMSA, John Arnold Spirit of Education Award, National Broadcasting Company
Presidential Award for Environmental Education
Who's Who in Education
Crystal Apple Award
United Nations Scholarship Award
National Environmental Award, Busch
100 Most Influential Internet Educators
Disney Civic Achievement Regional Award
Nominated for National Diffusion Network
International Teacher of the Year, runner-up
Economics America, National Teacher Fellow
National Winner, Respecteen, Washington DC
Lifetouch National Grant for innovative curriculum
Homework Central's 100 Most Influential Educators
National Highway and Safety Commission national award
Daughters of the American Colonies Teacher of the Year
Center for Civic Participation, national exemplaryprogram
National Good Neighbor Award Finalist, NCSS representative
National Wildlife Association Award for exceptional teaching of ecology
American Political Science Association Grant for Constitutional Education
Grants: National Garden, Planet Earth, Student-Parent Mock Election awards
Two Golden Bell awards as California's best social studies program, California School Board 1989, 1996
California's top social studies program, California
Council for the Social Studies
California Agriculture Teacher of the Year
California Water Education Program of the Year
Los Angeles County's Best Social Studies Program,
ADDITIONAL STATE AND LOCAL EDUCATION HONORS
California State University 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni of the Year
California Community College League Distinguished Alumni Award
Chaffey High School, Outstanding Alumni Award
Chaffey College, Outstanding Alumni Award
Teacher of the Year
OTHER HONORS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Pomona Valley Outstanding Educator Award
Audubon Society Outstanding Program Award
California winner, Best Environmental Garden
Robinson-May Grant from Constitutional Rights Foundation for electronic learning
California winner, Project Citizen, Center for Civic Education
Resolutions of Commendation, County of San Bernardino, County of Los Angeles,
City of Walnut, Walnut Valley Water District
Coached provincial and world championship girls' basketball teams
Taught Canadian Art Champions
San Bernardino County award for fiction writing, photography Most Popular Teacher Award (five times)
The program has also been selected as one of the nation's best by Target, the United Nations, Learning Magazine, Campbell Soup, Charles Kuralt, National Council for the Social Studies, California Council for the Social Sciences, Reader's Digest, the Perryman Foundation, Freedom Foundation, Bicentennial
Commission, the Kohl Foundation and several environmental organizations.
Speaker Open the Gate for the Gifted, Los Angeles County Conference on the Gifted
The only teacher to ever receive national social studies awards for both curriculum and methods;
the only classroom teacher to receive the Robert Cherry Award for Great Teaching in competition against educators throughout the English speaking world, and receive two Golden Bell Awards for the best program in California.
STATE EXAMINATION INCREASES
As a mentor, and department head, my curriculum increased CAP\CLAS test scores from the 22nd percentile to the 94th percentile. This was the largest gain in California history. The program was selected as exemplary on the state and national level and lead to Distinguished School status.
2010 SMS social studies teacher Alan Haskvitz is one of several teachers at the middle school who want to show that the Eco-Schools program helps engage students in hands-on, cost-saving projects that cut carbon emissions, green school grounds, and connect students to the community. The school uses some of the funds raised by recycling to sponsor a teenage wolf at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, located about an hour and a half northeast of Walnut. Apparently Denali, the school's wolf, is hopelessly clumsy and the funds raised by students go directly to Denali's “wolf lessons”, as Haskvitz calls them. The school also has a Wolf 527 Wildlife Club, named in honor of the Yellowstone wolf that was killed last year despite wearing a radio collar.
1. Featured in McGraw Hill national textbook.
2. Students' work was selected the best from 20,000 entries and they testified before the United Nations on the importance of environmental education.
3. Student's work was selected the best from 12,000 entries earned an all expense paid trip to Washington DC to meet the President. Curriculum was selected one of 200 exemplary ones from 6300 entries by Life Touch
4. The National Wildlife Federation selected my program best from 9000 entries for teaching students about political action and the environment.
5. Student's integrated work in agriculture was chosen as one of the top 12 in the nation and was shared on national television. My student's book review was published in the National Middle School Newsletter.
6. Piloted the Close-Up Foundations National Community Service Program, ORBITAR National Project.
7. Community service curriculum resulted in earning the Disney Regional Award for a graffiti campaign that ended graffiti in the community and the school.
8. Represented California in Project Citizen for their worldwide study of voter participation. Their work was the centerpiece for the County of Los Angelessummit called by the Los Angeles Registrar of Voters
and lead to rewriting of the country voting poll rules and the state registration forms.
9. Drawing upon training from Honda, Seiko and Toyota, I introduced quality circles into the classroom education field.
10. Program was selected by the Center for Civic Achievement as a model for teachers to introduce democracy into Bosnia classrooms.
11. Developed a program that has won twenty major awards for excellence in the United States and was reviewed in both Denmark and Canada.
12. My student's work has earned trips for them to New York, Washington DC, Tampa, Atlanta, Sea World, and Disneyland. The program earned over $100,000.
13. Initiated Canada's largest basketball organization. The teams won both provincial and world honors. The wheelchair team also won many awards.
14. Third grade reading program produced nation's fastest reading students at over 2000 words per minute with over 70 percent retention.
15. Students won seven congressional writing competitions and over 20 essay and speech contests.
16. Building A Better Community 2007 was selected as a finalist in this global competition. We are the only one from the US.
Writes a weekly column about CARS that was reviewed by Forbes Magazine
Author of Horace Mann's Reach Every Child.
NetHappenings Newsletter written by Al Haskvitz
Columnist Education News.org read An Interview with Al Haskvitz: About Teaching and Teacher Training Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Educational CyberPlayGround NetHappenings Newsletter