Dennis Jory chairs the English Department at Palm Desert High School in Palm Desert, where he also teaches courses in the humanities and in cinema. Mr. Jory is the first person in his family to that "coveted college degree and a teaching credential." He recalls his first day in the classroom and the first time he called roll, as the most fortunate and memorable day of his teaching life. His enthusiasm and love of teaching have never faltered since. "A school," he says, "is a building with four exterior walls and tomorrow inside it, and for children, three things must be present at all times and at all costs within those walls - truth, security, and freedom." Mr. Jory describes his classroom, Room 601 of school-wide fame, as a "haven for self-expression, positive reinforcement, and the freedom to be oneself unconditionally." There is only one rule of thumb in Room 601; "be here and be kind." Mr. Jory invites his students to "make the most of every day," in a classroom where knowledge is celebrated at every turn.
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, M.A.