Westwood High School teacher named November Rookie Teacher of the Block

Westwood High School first year teacher and coach James Roberts IV has been named the November 2019 Rookie Teacher of the Block. The award is sponsored by H&R Block, a dedicated partner of Richland School District Two. Mr. Roberts was surprised with the announcement on the WHS Redhawk morning TV show.

Photo: (L-R)  Keith Price, assistant superintendent for Richland Two; Sophia Cornish and Lourdes Villwock from H&R Block; Rookie Teacher of the Block James Roberts IV; Mike Young, assistant principal at WHS; Joe Carraway with H&R Block; and Martha Jones, executive director of strategic partnerships for Richland Two.

Nominated by Assistant Principal, Mike Young, Mr. Roberts is described as being a positive role model to all of his students and players. He does an excellent job of relating the material he teaches to the real world. He breaks down barriers that allow his students to have an understanding of how to decode binary codes and work through the challenges of computer programming.

“Mr. Roberts comes to school every day with a smile on his face and his sleeves rolled up ready to work,” says Mr. Young. “He openly shares how much he enjoys teaching and coaching even though he walked away from a very lucrative corporate job. Mr. Roberts motivates and encourages those around him to strive until you reach your full potential. One of his goals in life is to teach students how to win in life. He wants them to know how to face adversity and put themselves in a position to be successful.”

Rookie Teacher of the Block winners receive multiple gifts from H&R Block including a plaque to hang outside their door and a Kindle Fire for their personal use. They also receive an unique trophy designed by the 3D Printing class at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2).