East Side High School Teacher to Be Honored at Princeton 2021 Commencement
May 13, 2021
This Sunday, May 16, 2021, Visual & Media Arts teacher, Andrew Teheran of East Side High School will receive honors at Princeton’s 2021 Commencement. A recipient of Princeton’s Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teaching, Teheran along with three other educators will be acknowledged for their dedication by the university’s “Program for Teacher Preparation”.
Upon reviewing applications for this award, the Program in Teacher Preparation team considers recommendations from colleagues and students as well as evidence of the teachers’ accomplishments in the school and community. Todd Kent, director of the program states “While the pandemic conditions of the past year were very challenging for both teachers and students, the four teachers being honored this year excelled in providing the highest quality education possible for their students.” He also went on to say “Their stories are truly inspirational. The prizewinners are exceptional teachers because they transform and impact their students’ lives and their school communities.”
As a teacher at East Side High School for over 23 years, Teheran has done more than just encourage students’ creativity, he’s encouraged them to take on internships, compete in film festivals, and connected students with other Newark creatives building their own network in order to nurture their future dreams and aspirations. At the core of his teaching, Mr. Teheran works with students and pushes forth the notion of creating art that can live a life outside of the classroom. “I encourage them to do things that have meaning for them, their family and their community -- Purposeful work.”
While Teheran has aided in the growth of future-filmmakers and artists within Newark, New Jersey; he’s also promoted media arts education throughout the northeast with the Media Arts Coalition of Educators. In 2016, East Side High School’s Media Arts magnet program, founded by Teheran served as the pilot school for the National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Model Cornerstone Assessment of the new national standards. In coordination with the national team, students’ media art works were used as exemplars of advanced high school achievement at the test run of standards in Las Vegas. Due to his involvement and the success of the program, Teheran was then invited by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to join the writing team for the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standard – Visual and Performing Arts (NJSLS-VPA).
When asked what this award means to him, Teheran states “This award is more about what my students have done than it is about me as a teacher. I have been supported by administration at East Side and members of the faculty, and this award is more of a conduit of all the support within this school and the Newark community.”
Teheran’s impact within East Side High School and the City of Newark is beyond evident, colleagues and students alike happily sing his praises for the work he’s done. A colleague shared “Teheran’s classroom embodies the vision of what extraordinary teaching and learning should look like.” A former student followed in the sentiment sharing “Despite having projects to do for East Side and the district, a class to teach, students coming into his room every day after school for help and to work with his mentorship on a personal creative undertaking, he still manages to have time for everything. Although I no longer have his class, I still feel like I can go to him with any idea I have in my mind of things I want to create or learn.”
Newark Public Schools couldn’t be any more fortunate than to have Mr. Andrew Teheran as one of their educators. It is due to his continued approach in education, much like many of teachers in the district; that we continue to thrive and our students to soar.
Information on Andrew Teheran
Andrew Teheran is a Newark, New Jersey based artist, educator and filmmaker. He was born in New York City to parents of Colombian and Finnish descent. Holding a degree in Art History from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Teheran went on to study sculpture and art education at Montclair State University where he received his teaching credentials and earned his MFA in Creative Practice with Transart Institute in Berlin, Germany. Mr. Teheran has been teaching at East Side High School in New Jersey’s Newark Public School district for over twenty years. Within the district and throughout the state, he has been decorated for his work in arts education.
Information on Princeton Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teacher Award
Princeton has honored secondary school teachers since 1959 after receiving an anonymous gift from an alumnus to establish the program. The teachers are selected for the award based on nominations from public and private schools around the state. They each will receive $3,000 for their school libraries. The prize was not awarded in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 15 finalists were selected from the pool of applicants from both the current and previous year. The 15 finalists were visited at their schools by Rosanne Zeppieri, a member of the program staff. The winners were then selected by a committee chaired by Elizabeth Colagiuri, deputy dean of the college, that also includes Kent; Jennifer Jennings, professor of sociology and public affairs, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; Stanley Katz, a lecturer with the rank of professor in public and international affairs at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; and William Miron, principal of Millburn High School in New Jersey and a 1978 Princeton University graduate.