Best Delegate congratulates Patrick Gordon, the advisor of the Gahr High School Model United Nations program, for winning the 2012 Jaime Escalante Advanced Placement Award! The award is named for Jaime Escalante, a National Teachers Hall of Fame educator who was the subject of the movie Stand and Deliver. Mr. Gordon was featured in this Los Angeles Times article.
You can read the full LA Times article here.
Best Delegate reached out to some of Mr. Gordon’s former Model UN students and here’s what they had to say about his impact on their life:
“When looking back on the moments that have made you who you are, you begin to piece together a list of different experiences. One of the first and most significant that come to mind for me is Gordon’s passion and ability to connect learning with reality. His most overused phrase “…and the reality is” still rings in my ears and always reminds me of the bigger picture in life. Learning became more than just about how it pertained to the happenings of our little bubble as he taught us how to think critically about the decisions we make and how these choices can have global outcomes. Without this experience, I don’t know if I would’ve been motivated to choose an academic career in international development and ultimately dream to one day build my own social enterprise. These are the experiences and moments that matter…moments that I think as a society we undervalue. When I try to count how many of these moments I’ve had, there aren’t too many – but I am always reminded of this one and that it takes someone like Gordon, full of passion, dedication, and energy, to affect such an outcome.” — Leena B.
“Model United Nations was my first significant exposure to international affairs. It was through Mr. Gordon that I learned things I never knew that I never knew, and he had a contagious enthusiasm for social science that was impossible to not absorb. His passion for teaching and building Gahr’s MUN program not only gave me the opportunity to develop valuable skills like researching, writing, speaking, and collaborating with others, but it also inspired me to pursue a career that would have a positive impact on the world affairs. Now I work at an international affairs think tank in Washington, and while I can’t remember any of the MUN resolutions or who won which awards, I do still remember and greatly appreciate all the time, energy, and resources Mr. Gordon poured into not just educating students but also developing engaged citizens.” — Charita L.
“Having Patrick Gordon as a teacher, an advisor and a motivator throughout high school absolutely impacted my future in a way that I would have never anticipated as a teenager. He was the first person who treated my classmates and I like adults, and as such, inspired us to act like them. Gordon (always Gordon, never Mister Gordon) had a way of teaching that never felt forced– he brought his energy and his pragmatism into his lessons, making the subject matter he taught feel real, like more than words on pages of old textbooks. I’m not going to use the cliched line that ‘he taught us to love learning…’ because it was more than that. Gordon taught us all to be interested in the world around us, what came before us and what lay ahead in our worlds.” — Allie P.
“How does a small MUN club comprised of 15 students turn into a MUN class of 50 that attends college and national conferences in less than 4 years? By dedicated teachers like Mr. Gordon who spent his time and energy in building something long-lasting and meaningful for his students. Each year in MUN provided surprises and opportunities we never would have imagined. And these experiences in public speaking, writing resolutions, and building confidence through communication are worthwhile lessons even today. As students in MUN, we wanted to do the work. We wanted to work hard. We wanted to achieve bigger things. And Gordon provided a place to do just that. These opportunities existed in direct correlation to his enthusiasm and trust in our ability to succeed as teenagers. He taught us to be more conscious of the world around us and to choose work that is challenging, never easy. As an adolescent, this was the most powerful lesson I could’ve taken away from high school.” — Tana G.