In the United States, there are approximately 3.7 full-time teachers, K-12. (National Center for Education Statistics)
Teachers spend nine to ten months of the year with the nation’s children.
Today’s universities prepare teachers by advocating that they will become in loco parentis—Latin for “in the place of a parent.” Originally, the adoption of this concept began in Manchester, England 1855 at the Cheadle Hulme School begun for the welfare of orphans.
A teacher then is “to parent children with both love and discipline.”
Charlie Santos is such a teacher. Employed by Martin County Schools for ten years, he teaches history at Jensen Beach High School.
Each day Charlie Santos does not just teach a history lesson: he prepares, expresses passion for his field of expertise and remains aware of student needs.
He has identified students in the midst of difficulties—divorce, death, depression, anxiety and has shown them that it is important to talk about what’s going on, even receive help. Students trust teachers who care.
Charlie Santos is the son of Portuguese immigrants. The family arrived in the 1960s escaping a political dictatorship and an economic ceiling. Santos followed his mother (a 30 year Spanish teacher) into the field of education. Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, Santos also speaks some French and Italian; he adds that language fluency aids in the study of history. Santos states that teaching is his calling.
Hailing from Port Jefferson, New York, Charlie Santos and his wife, Laura, moved to Florida to begin a family and live out the American dream. Today they are the parents of two boys, Daniel, age 8 and Michael, age 4. Laura is a stay-at-home mom. The family has resided in St. Lucie County since 2004.
Each year Charlie Santos has been a part of the fabric of a school which has risen in ranking not just in Florida but also within the United States. JBHS was ranked one of the top 500 high schools in the nation 2011 by Newsweek’s study “America’s Best High Schools,” and was placed in the top 15 in 2011 by the International Center for Leadership in Education.
Good schools are the result of great teachers and parents who are interested in seeing their children succeed.
Success upon student graduation is not just academic, nor is it just athletic. Success upon high school graduation means being prepared for the next step in life, whether it is the work force, the military, parenthood, or entrance to a university.
Charlie Santos desires to evoke the greatest change in education. This August he is running for a seat on the School Board of St. Lucie County. Santos states that not one board member is a teacher. “What’s lacking is someone who is and has been in the classroom implementing educational policy, and knowing what works, and what doesn’t.”
As a parent and a caring teacher, he is concerned about the children in his neighborhood.
He would like to see St. Lucie County schools become the envy of others and people move to Florida because of the high level of education available in the State.
He knows from experience that mentorship will be what will make the difference in children’s lives. Charlie Santos is a Hometown Hero –an educator who cares enough to walk alongside students and parents, in good times and bad.
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© 2014 "Hometown Heroes" Kelly Jadon