Today Show honors DeKalb teacher during ‘Today Loves Teachers’ segment
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Marlorn A. Walker. May 04, 2020.

Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology pre-kindergarten teacher Jonathon Hines was surprised with $45,000 in school supplies for students, to be used once schools are back in session.

The gift was from Five Star, known for its organizers, spiraled notebooks and other school supplies, and presented during taping of a Today Show segment at the school, currently closed as students take classes online.

“This means the world to me,” Hines said. “These school supplies will go a long way and help many, many a family.” 

Hines was the first of several teachers to be highlighted during the show’s “Today Loves Teachers” spotlight, which is taking place during national Teacher Appreciation Week.

Hines’ story has been told several times since he was named Georgia Pre-K Teacher of the Year last summer, the first black teacher to be honored as such. A product of DeKalb County’s Towers High School, Hines went on to play professional basketball overseas before coming back to teach in the DeKalb Schools. He started as a teaching assistant in a pre-k classroom while waiting for a coveted physical education job to open. The rest is history.

“I want to show them it’s more than sports” out there, Hines said of why he chose to continue teaching 3- and 4-year-old students.

Obama Elementary Principal Angela Thomas-Bethea said during the segment that Five Star’s gift is the largest single donation her school has received.

“He’s just a really awesome, awesome teacher,” Today Show host Savannah Guthrie said at the end of her segment.

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