Anoka High School Alumni

Anoka, Minnesota (MN)

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Alan Haskvitz

Class of 0

A former Cornwall teacher is now a globally-recognized instructor after being named one of the 100 most important educators in the world. The former resident of Anoka. Minnesota, now resides in California with his wife and two children. His daughter is a National Merit Award winner and Ivy League graduate and his son runs a computer design company.

Alan Haskvitz has also been honoured as the best teacher in the United States based on his students' performances.

"It was sort of a surprise," he said about the newest award.

Haskvitz's career has taken him from Bishop Macdonell Catholic School to universities, high schools and colleges in Canada and the United States. He now teaches 13 and 14-yearolds at Suzanne Middle School in California. He also works on two websites, and as well as competing being a medalist in weight lifting at the Senior Olympics in that state.

In addition to overseeing a classroom, he also helps run a couple of teacher-resource web-sites that help millions of educators around the world, writes a car review column that nets him a new vehicle nearly every week, wins photography and landscaping awards and speaks at conferences.

With all the accolades and awards, the 68-year-old educator is still teaching simply because he loves the students.

"I don't get paid that much money, but I'm just enjoying it," he said. "I'll work for a few more years."

"Once the kid can relate to it then it becomes meaningful for them," he said. "Usually it's a top-down approach... but if the kid can be a part of it and relate it to their lives, it just makes more sense."

Haskvitz's award-winning methodology is part of a program called Reach Every Child. He said his goal is to make every subject -and he's taught nearly all of them -relevant to the student.

Haskvitz said he uses the children's strengths -such as art or technology -to display their progress, rather than evaluating all the students the same way.

Besides his love of teaching, the other thing that has driven him from school to school over the years is that he doesn't "tolerate unfairness," he said. "It just bothers me a great deal."

"Cornwall has a lot more potential in their kids than they think," he said. "There are some brilliant kids that ended up in the mainstream rather than being in the top."

However, Haskvitz said he thoroughly enjoyed his experiences in the city and has fond memories of working with councillors and other teachers.

"The thing I liked most about Cornwall was the people, the students," he said. "They were just really kind and the kids by and large wanted to learn."

Since moving to the States to teach, Haskvitz has been named the best teacher in California three times and the top educator in the entire country six times.

His nine-page resume also includes being inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and named the social studies International Teacher of the Year. He has coached basketball teams to regional and national championships and watched his students rake in more than $100,000 in prize money.

"It's not so much what you do but the impact after they leave," he said. "I don't just teach a subject, I teach them about life."

A Facebook page called "Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in Haskvitz" proves that he has done it well.

"He taught you to pay attention, do your homework, take notes, notice what is the most important, prepare for test and write essays," writes Spencer Liem on the 251-member group's wall. "Everything and anything you needed to know to pass any and every class you'll ever take. His sarcastic jokes and lame remarks made him that much better."

Haskvitz said he believes the awards come from far beyond the classroom, however. He writes regular columns about educational problems and solutions and is the co-founder of,a website with resources for parents and teachers.

"There's millions of people that use my website and my blog," he said.

But all the plaques and awards he has earned over the years are not what Haskvitz has up on display.

"I have a wall full of letters from kids, from all of the world," he said. "I've got hundreds of letters from kids, thanking me . . . for changing their lives."

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