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Radnor High School teacher among Delco Excellence in Teaching Award winners

Radnor High School teacher and English Department Chair Carl Rosin received a 2012 Delaware County Excellence in Teaching Award presented by Delaware County Intermediate Unit DCIU and the Franklin Mint Credit Union.

Love, Kudos, Remembrance is an occasional installment profiling people from the Main Line who stumble into grand loves, stand out to their neighbors and whose memories remain after they're gone.

After he graduated Harvard University in 1988, Carl Rosin worked briefly as a technical writer, and later, a user interface designer for a small software company in Massachusetts, called Marcam. Marcam had Rosin, 45, travel around the country, developing training materials for manufacturing processes of companies like Coca Cola.

While he enjoyed the job and his co-workers, Rosin felt like something was missing.

"It was great work, but I wanted to do something that was in the public realm, directed at young people and education," Rosin said.

Rosin's decision to return to Harvard for the necessary credentials to become a teacher was one of his best. it led not only to him working with and engaging youth in English and humanities classes at Radnor High School, but also recently landed him a prestigious 2012 Delaware County Excellence in Teaching Award.

The English Department chair is among 18 other teachers from Delaware County's 14 other school districts and three non-public educators in receiving the award, announced April 13 by presenters Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) and the Franklin Mint Credit Union.

At an April 19 ceremony held at the Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center in Upper Darby, Rosin received a $500 cash reward, a commemorative keepsake, as well as $1,000 to benefit Radnor.

"A former student who is now a senior in college was the one who nominated me," Rosin said he later found out. "It's very gratifying when you know you made enough of a difference to students that you are even remembered, let alone remembered fondly after four years."

Rosin didn't even realize the award existed until recently.

Last year's winner from Radnor was Vince Bondi, a high school math teacher. Rosin said he loves math and science so much that he'd sometimes sit in on Bondi's class as a colleague.

"Vince is an extraordinary, superb teacher, so I was really honored to be put in the same category as him," Rosin added.

Rosin feels this way about many of his colleagues, such as Paul Wright from Radnor High School's social studies, who was one of the finalists for Pennsylvania's teacher of the year.

"I'm surrounded everyday by great teachers here, and I'm pleased to be around here," Rosin said. "It's one of the main reasons my family and I moved to Radnor before I taught here."

After receiving a master's in education from Harvard in 1995, Rosin began his teaching career at Natick High School, the alma mater of former NFL player Doug Flutie.

After getting married in 1996, Rosin and his wife Kate moved to Radnor to be closer to family.

Since he wasn't certified to teacher in Pennsylvania, Rosin worked briefly as a crossword puzzle editor for Ambler's Kappa Publishing, and as a pharmaceutical industry consultant.

After getting certified to teach in Pennsylvania, Rosin was hired by Radnor High School, where he's taught since 1999.

"When I was a student, things came somewhat easily, and as a teacher, I needed to learn how to communicate and structure things better," the English Department chair added. "I have learned as much as any of my students…I love the idea that I might be able to help kids enjoy challenging themselves."

Rosin said he thought a hurdle to helping students challenge themselves is the emphasis on ranking and numbers from standardized tests.

"We have in the so-called '[education] reform world,' lots of people who would like to reduce education to what can be understood in a single number," he said. "I think that does a poor job of showing good teaching or learning."

Rosin said he thought what was really important was complexity.

"The more we develop a command of complexity of education as opposed to false simplicity, the better we're going to be," Rosin said.

Rosin said a number of people in education, work and life avoid challenging themselves. For Rosin, teaching offers many rewards, such as the opportunity to engage students to enjoy learning and challenging themselves.

He's even written about it for the blog Better Living Through Beowulf, produced by his friend Robin bates, an English professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

I enjoy thinking philosophically about how to get kids to do things that are more difficult, not less difficult, that challenges them," Rosin said. "I enjoy facing that everyday."

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