John Underwood, Biology teacher at BRHS, was recently named the EBR High School Teacher of the Year. Mr. Underwood has been at BRHS since the Fall of 2012. He stays busy as co-adviser for DECA and NHS, the B-team coach of Science Bowl, adviser for the Science Olympiad team and for Anime/Graphic Novel club, as well as serving as the co-coach for the New Teacher Induction, helping mentor new BRHS teachers.
We got the opportunity to speak with Mr. Underwood about his experience teaching, his love for science, and his role in the post-flood recovery efforts. From a young age, he was always interested in science, starting as many young children do–with dinosaurs. Instead of attending medical school, he decided to teach with Teach for America. After 14 years of teaching, he is now working on a PhD in Educational Research.
After the flood last August, Mr. Underwood went to work writing grants to help fund classroom needs that would be effected by families struggling after the flood. Through his efforts BRHS received over $7000 in grants from local businesses and nonprofits. Some of these businesses included Cox Communications, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, McFarland Comics, the LSU Cane Center and more. These grants helped fund lab fees and teacher classrooms in the science department and they fully funded the Science Olympiad team for the year.
When asked what he loved most about teaching Mr. Underwood stated “getting to watch the kids get excited about the curriculum and experiments, as well as fostering their interest in science, business or community service.”
Congratulations, Mr. Underwood! Keep raising the banners high!