PHOENIX -- Remember high school history? Often memorizing dates and eras you really couldn't relate to? 3TV found out that is certainly not the case in Mr. Bergez's class. The Tempe Prep Academy educator is the newest honoree of the Silver Apple Award.
"I feel like the luckiest man alive," Bergez said.
One of only eight teachers honored each school year, Bergez received not only a Silver Apple with bragging rights, but a check for $500 to use in his classroom courtesy of our sponsor ACE Home Services.
According to Bergez, "History and literature are ways in which to make sense of a complicated world."
Animated, loud and even angry at times, classroom discussions train young minds to decide moral right and wrong.
"We discuss the history and we discuss the literature," explained student nominator Chris Moffit. "We discuss the philosophy of it all and the why."
That summarizes Bergez's class of Humane Letters. Students study various eras of history through the lens of literature.
Sitting in a full circle, students see eye to eye in the classroom; a seating arrangements that lends itself to 100 percent participation. Keeping the 14- and 15-year-olds engaged in learning takes a certain technique, one that Bergez has successfully mastered.
"He's the quiet kid in the back of the class who will occasionally say that one sentence that will set everyone else off and just make everyone go crazy for it," said student nominator Elinor Sauer.
A forever student, Bergez constantly learns from his students. He comes to school prepared to teach his lessons of the day, always open to learning something new.