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Meet Eric Hale the first Black man to be named Teacher of the Year in Texas

A first-grade teacher at a Dallas, Texas elementary school has recently made history after becoming the first Black man to win Texas Teacher of the Year. Eric Hele works at Burnet Elementary was featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier this year. Hale has been recognized for his use of involving music to help children learn.

“We use a lot of music in my classroom,” Hale told NBC News. “If I can keep my kids energized and keep them engaged, I can teach them how to do anything.”

Over the last five years, Hale’s classes have an average of 95 percent on tests.

Hale was one of six finalists for the award which completed their first round of interviews in September. Burnet Principal Sonia Loskot posted a social media post congratulating the teacher.

“To all those people out there that are looking to make a difference, that are thinking about going into education… you can do it,” Hale said in a video. “I also want to shout out children who are living in trauma, in poverty… if you work hard, you can accomplish any goal. I’m a believer [and] that is the reason why I’m here.”

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