In high school, Josh Thelemann was part of the team that won back-to-back state basketball championships. Today, he is the founder and CEO of Teacher Prodigy, a nonprofit that supports the growth and development of educators.
Teacher Prodigy was inspired by a nonprofit that Thelemann created in college. He came to realize that there were many amazing teachers and students who had little say in what was in the curriculum. He worked with teachers, students, and community members to develop programming.
“Not only was innovative programming needed, but schools needed a way to leverage the expertise of their teachers to make effective change for the students,” he said.
What Hopkins teacher made a difference?
My home life was affecting my mental well-being, performance, and behavior in school. One day, after an outburst in class, Mr. Swenson did something amazing. I expected to be disciplined, but he took me outside and talked to me in a way I really needed. I will be forever grateful for the care, compassion, and for noticing I needed a hand.
How did Hopkins prepare you for the future?
Very few schools could have prepared me better to work in a world that requires one to be able to work with all types of people from many different backgrounds. Hopkins’ student diversity, of thought and ethnicity, and the examples set by my teachers and coaches, taught me that everyone matters and everyone’s story is important. To this day it helps me bring compassion and inclusion to everything I do.
Stats: Elementary Education and Teaching, Augsburg University • Founder/CEO of Teacher Prodigy