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Earlier this month, UW-Superior graduate Jeff Isaacson was rewarded for another trip to the Olympics when he and his fellow U.S.A. teammates were honored at the White House with President Barack Obama and his family.
He earned his master's in Educational Administration in 2012 and was on the U.S.A. curling team that featured athletes from the area. It was his second Olympic games-- he also competed on the men's curling team in Vancouver.
Isaacson was a first generation college student from Gilbert, a town on the Iron Range, where he is now currently teaching middle school science. He was vice skip for John Shuster in Sochi and was honored to represent the U.S. again in national competition. He curls out of the Duluth Curling Club and Curl Mesabi.
Jeff initially received a lot of national media attention for being a teacher - but on the last weekend of curling competition, received even more attention for what NBC Sports called, "an Olympic rarity" when he asked to sit out one of the final matches so that the team alternate could experience playing in an Olympic competition.
As Mary E. Lee-Nichols, Ph.D. assistant professor of Teacher Education at UW-Superior said, "This really reflects how I know Jeff as a student and teacher, quiet and humble, thoughtful and caring. Here, teaching the world how we do things, honoring the hard work of an entire team."
She had Jeff in class in the summer of 2012 and said it was fun following his team in Russia. "He gave a shout-out to UW-Superior via Facebook, and was sending great emails to EdLeadership faculty while in Sochi - it has been fun to follow his experiences!"
For the Iron Range native, the faculty at UW-Superior made the difference for him during his time as a Yellowjacket. "I had most of my classes with Terri Kronzer. I enjoyed her classes and hearing her stories- especially with her law background and school experiences. She helped guide me through the program and keep me on track."
Kronzer wasn't the only one to make an impact on this world-class athlete. "I was happy to have my last class with Mary Lee-Nichols. It was a great class and great way to end my time at UW-Superior," said the two-time Olympian. "Mary is such a positive, supportive, and down-to-earth person. I've never experienced anyone who was willing to take so much time for each of her students. She cares deeply about what she does and is a fantastic role model for anyone going into the field of education."
Photo courtesy of USA Curling and for his complete bio there you can go to: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/Athletes/IS/Jeff-Isaacson
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