Mr. Israel engages students with unique perspectives, knowledge


Donnell Hale

Mr. Israel leads a discussion with his first-hour class.

If you have had Mr. Israel’s class before, you know he is very interesting. It’s like his knowledge seems unending. Some people might wonder where he got all his knowledge from because he certainly does know a lot.

Mr. Israel has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a masters degree in education and he is pursuing a masters degree in education as well. He likes to read and write books in his free time outside of school and he does research on history and biblical topics.

The main things he values in life are his family and his faith.

When Mr. Israel was an undergrad, he did a lot of community service work. His senior year he started working at a community center near the school he went to and he started working with kids.

“Even though I was pursuing a degree I didn’t know if it was the right thing for me to do. Once I started working with those kids, I knew this is what I should be doing,” he said.

Mr. Israel is well-liked by many of his students for the way he teaches and his personality. “He’s a really nice teacher, he’s pretty chill,” Junior Sedrick Swygert said. “His teaching style is perfect. He teaches for everyone in the class to understand and he goes in-depth and repeats stuff to make sure everyone understands.”

Mr. Israel is very engaging when he teaches. He likes to ask students their opinions to add different perspectives during his lessons.

“My approach to teaching came from humility because who am I to teach people? I took it upon myself to learn as much as I could,” he said.

He had a job at a university library while he was working on getting his degree so he had a lot of downtime to read and learn.

“I don’t believe in dichotomies. I think a lot of things overlap with history, philosophy, and literature so I’m able to pull some of those things in and relate it to where you might think you’re in a history class, but it’s still English class,” Mr. Israel said.

Some things in Mr. Israel’s early life that helped him get to where he is at now include his father and his religious conversion in his early 20s, which changed how he lives and his outlook on life.

“I really love teaching because it gives me purpose and it shows me what I’m supposed to be doing and I look forward to the conversations I have with the students,” he said.