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These 6 Educators Truly Inspired Us In 2013

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Shannon Fagan via Getty Images

Every day of every year, amazing educators and school employees are doing their part to make sure our nation’s students succeed –- and 2013 was no exception.

Below, we have compiled a list of six educators and school employees who inspired us this year.

Of course, these are just a few of the inspiring teachers that grace our nation’s classrooms. In the comments, tell us about a teacher who inspired you this year.

  • Michael Landsberry
    AP
    When a gunman showed up at Sparks Middle School in Nevada this past October, 45-year-old math teacher Michael Landsberry did not run away. Instead, he tried to convince the 12-year-old shooter to put down his gun.

    Landsberry was not successful, and he was killed for his efforts. However, his actions gave children time to get away, and he has since been recognized as a hero.

    "Mr. Landsberry's heroic actions, by stepping toward the shooter, allowed time for other students in the playground area to flee," Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras said at the time, according to CNN.
  • Jon Kitna
    AP
    Jon Kitna went from being a hero on the field to a hero in the classroom.

    After retiring as a professional football player for the NFL, Jon Kitna became a teacher at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash.

    Earlier this month, Kitna got back on the field for one game when he replaced Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He reportedly earned more than $50,000 for playing in the game -- a sum he is donating to the school where he teaches.
  • Millicent 'Mama' Hill
    When Los Angeles Unified School District teacher Millicent "Mama" Hill retired, she did not stop serving the kids in her community. She turned her home into a community safe house where children could go for solace, food, shelter and help with academics. She says he is currently serving more than 3,000 children.

    “When you love yourself, you don’t want to hurt other people,” she says in the above video, made by SoulPancake. “Hurt people hurt other people, so what we’re trying to do here is stop them from hurting so they won’t hurt anyone else."
  • Teachers At International High School In Brooklyn
    WikiMedia:
    Teachers at International High School in the Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood of Prospect Heights want to make sure that all their students are given equal opportunities to succeed. Earlier this year, a group of teachers at the school created a scholarship fund for undocumented students. As of July, teachers had raised more than $36,000 for students, just through reaching out to family and friends.

    “[These students] come into the country and we say, ‘Hey welcome to the U.S., we’re going to put you through high school.’ But by the time high school ends that’s not the case anymore,” Bob van Pelt, a social studies teacher at the school, told The Huffington Post. “It doesn’t matter if you get into a fancy college if you can’t pay for it.”
  • Antoinette Tuff
    Getty Images
    In August, elementary school clerk Antoinette Tuff saved countless lives when she convinced an armed gunman at her Atlanta elementary school to put down his weapon and give himself up to the police. As a result, no one in the school was harmed.

    Tuff convinced the gunman to surrender by telling him about the struggles she's faced in her life.

    "I told him, 'OK, we all have situations in our lives," she said. "It was going to be OK. If I could recover, he could, too."
  • Julie Culp
    Julie Culp, a school counselor in Tennessee, successfully taught her kids about Internet safety in November when she posted this picture (above) on her Facebook and watched it go viral. The photo ended up gaining millions of likes from around the world -- and showed that a little creativity can make a big difference when it comes to teaching.

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