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Jaime Escalante, Legendary Teacher, Dies at 79

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Bolivian-born Jaime Escalante, the teacher who was portrayed in the 1988 movie, “Stand and Deliver” passed away on Tuesday afternoon in Roseville, California. He was undergoing treatments for bladder cancer in Reno, Nevada but was brought to his son’s home in California on Monday.

Escalante is best known for believing in his students and turning around the math program at an inner city East L.A. school, Garfield High School. His great efforts and his unlikely success was documented in Stand and Deliver. In an interview, Escalante said that the movie was “90 percent truth and 10 percent drama.”

Escalante, who was born in La Paz, Bolivia and came to the United States knowing no English at all, serves as an example of all that is good and pure about the field of education. He overcame his own obstacles, and taught his students to do so as well. He also tackled and stood up to a school administration that had little faith in its own students.

May other teachers have the courage to follow his example in the face of obstacles and adversity in order to be an example to their own students.

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