LOS ANGELES (Oct. 26, 2016) - Anthony Yom, the Abraham Lincoln High School math teacher who earned national recognition for helping his students conquer the Advanced Placement Calculus exam, was named today as winner of the Escalante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education, which recognizes “life-changing” educators who promote academic integrity and rigor.
The award is named for the late Jaime Escalante, the Garfield High School calculus teacher profiled in the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver,” and that school’s former principal, Henry Gradillas, who now serves on the prize panel.
The recognition was bestowed by TheBestSchools.org, a resource for school ranking information. It awards $10,000 each to Yom and to Lincoln High, where he has taught for 12 years.
“I am very honored to get the recognition, and I’m happy that my school gets an award, too,” Yom said. “I genuinely think that it is my students who have made me what I am. It is them who make me shine.”
Over the last four years, all of Yom’s calculus students have passed the AP exam, nearly all of them earning the top score of 5. However, it was the perfect score earned in 2015 by one of his former students, Cedrick Argueta, that brought Yom and his accomplishments into the national spotlight.
Yom and Argueta were invited last spring to the White House Science Fair, where they were among a select group of teachers and students selected for a private meeting with President Obama.
One of L.A. Unified’s Teachers of the Year for 2016, Yom will be traveling to New York City next week, where he will be meeting with the president of The College Board, which administers the AP tests, and providing input on how to make the exams more relevant to students.
“Just the opportunity to be able to add my voice – I am privileged and blessed,” Yom said.
Yom has been lauded for a teaching style that allows him to personally relate to students at his East Los Angeles campus – even as he takes them through the challenges of advanced math. He tutors after school, on weekends and over vacations, offering knowledge, friendship and support that allows his students to thrive.
“Mr. Yom has been a catalyst for academic achievement at Lincoln High School, inspiring our students to develop an understanding and love of math,” Superintendent Michelle King said.
“It is especially fitting that the Escalante-Gradillas Prize is named for an L.A. Unified teacher renowned for his commitment to his students, his school and his profession,” she said. “The entire L.A. Unified family is proud of Mr. Yom’s success.”
Contact: Barbara Jones (213) 241-6766