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Former College Dropout Named DISD Teacher of the Year

By Julie Tam
|  Tuesday, May 17, 2011  |  Updated 5:24 PM CDT
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Karen Marx was a single mom who turned her life around to impact students.

Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com

Karen Marx was a single mom who turned her life around to impact students.

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Something Good - DISD Teacher of the Year

The DISD praised Karen Marx with coming up with fun, unique ways to teach math.
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A former college dropout is Dallas ISD's new teacher of the year. The district says math teacher Karen Marx has made a measurable impact on students at North Dallas High School.

When she was a teenager, she never imagined she would stand in a classroom as Teacher of the Year.

"It's been unbelievable. It's just been a total dream come true," said Marx.

Marx teaches geometry. Her supervisors credit her with boosting 10th grade TAKS scores by about 10 percent year after year. It's hard to believe just how far she's come.

"I was 21, dropped out of college. I had a baby. I was on my own, raising my daughter, and struggling," said Marx. "That time of not being focused and not having a dream, not knowing what I was doing with life, has absolutely changed the way I feel about education and the message that I try to give these kids."

She eventually went back to college and graduated in 2002 from UT Arlington with a B.A. in Kinesiology and a minor in Mathematics. Ever since, she's been teaching the subject she loves most, math.

It's the hard work she inspires that helped her earn the coveted award and a $5,000 check from Central Market H-E-B. A representative from the grocery store chain presented Marx with a check and a cake in her classroom Tuesday morning.

"It is her dedication more than anything else. She really and truly loves the kids," said Reginald Samuel, associate principal.

Three finalists for Dallas ISD Teacher of the Year each received a $1,000 check.

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