Bronx high school teacher awarded prestigious award and $25,000

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A Bronx high school teacher was awarded one of public education's most prestigious honors, along with $25,000.

Alhassan Susso was awarded the prestigious NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence. He also won the 2019 Teacher of the Year award.

Susso says watching his students find their voice, feel empowered and get excited about the future is what he lives for. "Once they enter that room...they have this sense of 'I matter'," said Susso.

He says he was given that same feeling by his 11th grade reading teacher 20 years ago when he was a young immigrant and didn't know any English.

"Every day when we come to his class, we begin with the affirmation words, and once you have those things inside you, you're willing to do whatever it takes in life," said a student.

Susso says that when he looks around the classroom, he sees himself.

"Your past doesn't define your future, but it's about making the right choices. When you make the right choices, you will develop a future both you, your community and your family would be proud of. This award doesn't mean I won, it means we all won this award," said Susso.

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