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Erik Hedstrom District 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year
© by Bonnie McKenna
Observer Intern


Westfield High School calculus teacher is honored by being chosen Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year in the Texas Teacher of the Year competition.  

The Texas Teacher of the Year program began in 1969 as a way to recognize and celebrate excellence in teaching.  All school districts participate in the program.  Within Region 4 there are 54 school districts.  There are a total of 20 Regions in the state.  Each year one elementary and one secondary teacher are chosen from each region.  From the 40 regional selections, 6 teachers are selected to compete for the Texas Teacher of the Year.  On Oct. 29, the 2 teachers selected as Teacher of the Year and all regional finalists will be honored at the Annual Academic Recognition Banquet in Austin .

“Being named Secondary Teacher of the Year for our district is an honor and I appreciate it, but I am always seeking to be better,” Hedstrom said.  

Hedstrom is never satisfied with the conventional wisdom of teaching, “I am always questioning, I am always revising my program, I like to challenge my thinking,” he added.  

“In college I thought I wanted to be an engineer, but then I decided that I really wanted to be a teacher.  Originally I thought about teaching Spanish, but changed my mind.  I decided on math because people have difficulty with math and I thought I could make a difference,” he said.  

“The key to teaching math is elusive.  I try to present situations that the students can see for themselves.   I teach advance placement calculus and statistics.  Calculus is classical math, statistics challenges the students thinking,” Hedstrom said.  

“Hedstrom is very popular with his students because he never gives up on them.  Even though advanced calculus and statistics are difficult subjects, he finds a way to help his students comprehend the subject and succeed.  The top 5 percent students, at Westfield High School , named Hedstrom the teacher who most influenced them,” said Karen Garrison, director of communications for Spring ISD, in a recent press release.  

A native of New York , Hedstrom has lived in Houston for 18 years. “Texans are proud and this is a good place to live.  I like it here.”

Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year, Erik Hedstrom with two of his top students.

Left to right: Abishek Sadhu, Hedstrom and Sarah Krusleski.