A physics teacher at John Dewey High School has made the grade.
Michael Klimetz, a Bensonhurst resident, has won a First Annual Sloan Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.
“It is both exhilarating and humbling,” he said of the win. “I cannot imagine anything more gratifying than receiving an award from such a prestigious philanthropic organization for performing a job that provides me a source of joy and satisfaction each and every day.”
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit institution supporting public schools, honored seven educators who are “exceptionally dedicated and creative teachers who have achieved outstanding results.” Each award provided $5,000 to the teacher and $2,500 to the school’s science or mathematics program.
Klimetz shared some of the tips of the trade that have made him a standout teacher at Dewey, located at 50 Avenue X.
“I firmly believe the successful teacher must be a master of their subject. The subject must be one that the teacher enjoys and finds personally satisfying,” he explained.
Furthermore, “The successful teacher must always be patient, considerate and compassionate, and must always be mindful that their students are children who are sensitive, impressionable, vulnerable, and oftentimes insecure,” he noted. “As a retired colleague once told me, the successful teacher always treats his or her students in the same way they would expect other teachers to treat their own children.”
The educator says his students are “all very proud” of his Sloan Foundation Award.
“I received a standing ovation from them at an assembly hosted at John Dewey High School,” Klimetz said. “It was an unforgettable moment.”
Klimetz finds his job incredibly rewarding, as he does his life here in Brooklyn.
“John Dewey High School, as a matter of fact, is located only seven minutes from my front door if you walk at a leisurely pace and in the general direction of the morning sun peeking above the horizon,” he said.
A Bensonhurst resident since 1983, Klimetz couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
“The borough of Brooklyn holds a very special and forever meaningful place in my heart,” he said. “I have very much enjoyed living in Bensonhurst as it is a slice of suburban splendor with nice homes and hardworking families blessed with all of the conveniences afforded a large metropolitan community. The unparalleled transportation choices, bustling commercial centers, excellent restaurants and many dear residents I have come to know as friends and neighbors have made life here very pleasant indeed.”
“I am a very fortunate man,” he added. “Few people can claim a life as personally and professionally satisfying as that which I have spent in the service of the children of the City of New York.”