NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx schoolteacher’s selflessness has positioned him as a top 10 finalist in a worldwide community service contest.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Stephen Ritz is not your average teacher. He called himself “CEO – chief eternal optimist — of Bronx County.”
“I teach at P.S. 55, where anything is possible,” he said.
Ritz’s enthusiasm, and love for teaching, catapulted the science teacher from 5,000 applicants to the top 10 finalists for the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize – often referred to as the Nobel Prize for Teachers.
Ritz was recognized for helping Bronx students build more than 100 gardens inside schools.
“And just to have my work in the south bronx celebrated as a global exemplar is proof that the Bronx can change attitudes now that you know we can do this, and this is our moment,” he said.