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Black Ohio History Instructor Kurt Russell Named 2022 National Teacher Of The Year


Black Ohio History Instructor Kurt Russell Named 2022 National Teacher Of The Year

“He’s enthusiastic and relates his curriculum to real-world experiences,” Nia Mitchell, Oberlin High School Senior, said.

Kurt Russell, a history teacher from Ohio, has just been named the 2022 National Teacher of the Year

‘Only 2% of teachers are Black males…[my message is] to provide my students with a diverse curriculum. To make sure African-American class becomes normalized and not different’

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 19, 2022

“Students have been able to handle discourse a little bit better [and have] tough conversations with respect,” Russell told Education Week. “This is a country that is made up of so many great different individuals, so many different cultures and races and religions. And what I try to bring into my classroom are those different aspects—making sure that the narratives of others are being told through stories.”

“He does a really good job of fostering conversations where everyone can have a perspective,” another student said.

After graduating from the College of Wooster in 1994, Russell landed his childhood “dream job” of teaching in Oberlin.

During his time at Oberlin, He has assisted in developing an African American history course at Oberlin High School in his first year there.

As National Teacher of the Year, Russell plans to advocate for culturally inclusive curricula and a more extensive range of diversity in the teaching profession. According to Education Week, Only 20 percent of teachers are of color, with 2 percent of educators being Black men.

“If I could be just a small part of a larger change, it would mean so much to me,” Russell said.

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