Teachers are doing all they can to stay connected to their students while they're apart, and NBC 5 and Southern Methodist University want to celebrate an Excellent Educator.
Mr. Rickey Phoummany, a dance teacher at Bowie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie ISD not only uses his love of dance but his patience and understanding to capture the hearts of his students.
"Hey ya'll, it's Mr. Phoummany, or Mr. P for those that know me,” said Rickey Phoummany in a virtual dance video.
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Keeping dance classes moving, virtually. COVID-19 hasn't stopped Rickey Phoummany from doing what he loves.
"I believe that I bring to the table something different," said Phoummany.
Only in his first year at Bowie Fine Arts Academy, Phoummany has already made a big impact.
"Being a male dance teacher is sort of rare, but not as much anymore as more male dancers are appearing because students are used to having female dance directors so that's one of the advantages that I kind of have," said Phoummany.
"Students now, when you ask them what is your favorite class, it's dance. And that's awesome to hear from a principal at a fine arts academy," said Bowie Fine Arts Academy Principal, Ana Holland.
From special needs students to male dancers, Phoummany is described as the kind of teacher who adapts his style of teaching so that everyone is engaged.
“To hear students really embracing it, which is something that was a goal of ours. We wanted our students to be exposed to, and to embrace the fine arts,” said Holland.
“It's extremely motivating. I love seeing teachers who really care about their students, really love what they're doing. All my law professors are like that, and it really just motivates me to be my best,” said 17-year-old SMU Law Student, Haley Taylor-Schlitz. "On behalf of SMU and in recognition for Mr. Phoummany's selection as an Excellent Educator, I'm pleased to present Bowie Fine Arts Academy with a check for $1,000.”
“I just want to say, thank you so much for this honor,” said Phoummany. “I hope I inspire other teachers to continue doing what they do, and really go above and beyond.”
Congratulations, Mr. Rickey Phoummany!