Horton’s work goes above and beyond

For John Horton, teaching stretches far beyond his own students, or even his everyday time in the classroom.

John Horton
John Horton

Horton, a third-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in Coon Rapids, hosts a two-week summer camp for students to brush up on their math and reading skills.

He didn’t even mind that many of the 18 students who participated last year weren’t going to be in his class.

“I don’t know very many teachers who are willing to do something like this,” said Rachel Koep, a parent whose daughter was in his class last year.

It’s fostering that sense of community for the school that is just one of the many reasons Horton was named an Anoka-Hennepin School District 2012-2013 Above and Beyond Award winner.

Horton, who has spent eight years teaching in Anoka-Hennepin’s elementary schools, is one of 10 recipients of the annual award that recognizes teachers, administrative assistants, cooks, custodians and other employees who work extra hard to make sure students are successful.

“I believe it’s my job to make sure that every child loves learning and coming to school,” Horton said.

“For me, that means making sure I know each child as a person and a learner.”

It was Koep who nominated Horton for the honor.

Last year, it was his extra work to produce a video explaining how the new math method worked that allowed her and her husband to help their daughter with math homework, according to Koep.

This year, even though her daughter had moved to fourth grade, he stepped in to offer help when she had told him about being picked on by new girls on the playground, Koep said.

“If every teacher had the same philosophy as him, we would have no problem making every student a success story,” she said, marveling at “all the extra hours, effort and love (Horton) puts into his profession.”