DCP Teachers Honored at SCCOE’s Teacher Recognition Celebration

We are proud to share that two of our teachers, John Miluso and John Benoit, from DCP Alum Rock High School were honored at this year’s Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) Teacher Recognition Celebration.

We invite you to learn a little more about these two outstanding teachers. Below are excerpts from their nominations, submitted by Principal Terri Furton.

John Miluso: Teacher of the Year for a County-Authorized Charter School

“John Miluso was a founding teacher at DCP Alum Rock beginning in 2011. His life’s work is grounded in equity and justice. His dedication is unmatched. He is the heartbeat of our school.

Mr. Miluso challenges students to meet proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students labor to annotate and discuss articles in both US History and Environmental Ethics, a course he created to study the moral relationship between human beings, the environment and its non-human components.

John is a warm demander who loves students so much that he is able to elicit their very best work. One component of his U.S. History final was for students to write “MyStory” poems, incorporating 6 historical people or events and how they mirror or inspire each student’s story. In Environmental Ethics, students had to develop and orally present “How Shall I Live My Life?” speeches, which included their life ethic.

A Renaissance man himself, trilingual in Spanish and Italian, and a musician, Mr. Miluso founded our monthly SWAG Nights – Students With Artistic Goals. Not a talent show, but an opportunity for students to share their goals and gifts with other students. It is amazing to see very shy students, some who have been marginalized in the past, stand in front of their peers on a Friday afternoon and sing a solo!

Additionally, John’s passion to reverse ethnic representation in the courtrooms of San Jose inspired him to launch a Mock Trial team in 2015, the only team in East San Jose.”

John Benoit: 2019 Texas Instruments Innovations in STEM Teaching Award

“Mr. Benoit came to us in August 2016 through an Intel retirement incentive, volunteering in our Engineering classes. Hired part-time, he soon became a full-time fixture on campus, jumping right into establishing relationships with students and taking time to explain concepts in ways they could understand.

As a volunteer, Mr. Benoit assisted with Project Lead the Way courses: Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Engineering (Robotics), and Engineering Design Development (Advanced Engineering). In 2017-18, Mr. Benoit launched an introductory-level Computer Science course for all students in grades 9-12, also sponsored by Project Lead the Way. John has the skill of planning a unit of study, thinking through how he might modify the national curriculum provided, and implementing it in a way that best meets the needs of students. In addition, he brings in creative projects and ideas for programming and the like. In 2018-19, John taught both Computer Science and Principles of Engineering using the PLTW curriculum. Next year, he will enhance our program with AP Computer Science.

Mr. Benoit utilizes his connections in the industry to impact young lives and further STEM education. He assisted our Rocketry team in their competitions, drove them to the Central Coast on several Saturdays, and in general he steps in to help with any opportunity that exposes them to the Silicon Valley technology world. He partnered with TEALS, a local non-profit that matches community mentors with Computer Science classes to work more closely with students. Lastly, he secured a $10,000 Computer Science grant for the upcoming school year and is engaging our students to help other students in the community develop a passion for Computer Science.

He is an educator and community changer at heart.”

About SCCOE’s Teacher Recognition Celebration: A Santa Clara County tradition enduring for 50 years, the Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California and the most prestigious local award given to classroom teachers. The Teacher Recognition Celebration every fall honors the county’s finest teachers, each selected by their respective school districts.