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The Great American Teach-Off 2012: We Have a Winner! The Great American Teach-Off 2012: We Have a Winner!

The Great American Teach-Off 2012: We Have a Winner!

April 25, 2012

This post is in partnership with University of Phoenix

The votes are in and tallied. We’re excited to announce that the GOOD community voted for Daryl Bilandzija, an eighth grade English teacher at Odyssey Charter School in Altadena, California as the winner of The Great American Teach-Off Round 2.

In his video, Bilandzija says he hopes to knock down one wall of his classroom with his $10,000 Great American Teach-Off grant. He says this renovation would “connect the outside space with the inside of [his] classroom.” Replacing the wall with sliding glass doors and a deck, the space would serve a dual purpose as "a really great symbolic statement for the kind of school the Odyssey is: a school where we say we’re a classroom without walls."

An English teacher for ten years, Bilandzija also produces and directs school plays and loves to utilize the power of theater arts to create transcendent experiences for his students and the community. He also transformed a quarter acre of the school grounds into edible gardens and fruit orchards, and designed and built the middle school furniture from sustainable materials. The gardens will eventually become part of the schools lunch program, and both projects serve as a means to bring sustainability into the curriculum.

Check back soon for a video of the official winner announcement at Odyssey Charter School, when GOOD and University of Phoenix surprises Bilandzija with the news that he won. In the mean time, learn more about Bilandzija and other inspiring educators in The Great American Teach-Off here.

Pictured left to right: GOOD Education Editor Liz Dwyer, University of Phoenix College of Education Assistant Dean Connie Lorthridge, winner Daryl Bilandzija

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