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Former teacher of the year resigns for personal reasons

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Published on: Thursday, May 09, 2013

By Holden Wilen

SILVER SPRING – Jacob Scott has resigned as a math teacher at Montgomery Blair High School. Scott previously made headlines for his use of rap music to teach math.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig confirmed Scott, who was recognized as the NAACP–MCPS Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2011, resigned on April 23.

Scott, who was also the varsity wrestling coach at Blair High School, said he resigned because of a difference of opinion with MCPS and to further advance progress with his pet project, 2 Pi Productions. Scott uses his character “2 Pi” in rap videos to teach students about math. Scott said he has been busy speaking at events and will have more time now that he is not teaching. He is currently writing a book and preparing to shoot a documentary.

“There is a reason why I was not fired. If I did something that was wrong or hurtful towards kids I would have been fired by MCPS,” Scott said. “If MCPS did something to me, for instance if I was fired wrongly, then I would have a legal matter. MCPS and I, we had a difference of opinion and then we agreed to disagree. We both agreed to walk away, and I have nothing negative to say about MCPS. I am sure that MCPS has nothing negative to say about me. It won’t even amount to anything.”

Some have said the disagreement between Scott and MCPS has to do with the school system’s grading policy. Scott said he has no problems with MCPS and that he respects the school system greatly, but he would not disclose the conditions of his resignation. Instead, he would prefer to release all of the details in his upcoming book. In the meantime, he said his goal is continue supporting creative education for children through 2 Pi Productions.

“I have heard all kinds of stories,” Scott said. “It has been laughable. You just have to understand human nature and not allow evil forces to get in the way of good because what I have is a quality product to help students. MCPS likewise, MCPS is doing remarkable things. I do not want to impede that at all. That is why I agreed to walk away quietly. I have nothing at all to say about it other than MCPS is doing a fantastic job. I wish them the best.”

Maria Portela, a vice president for the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association said she was not aware of Scott’s resignation. Portela said Scott was an excellent teacher who was very active with the PTSA and he convinced the whole math department to join the PTSA. Portela said the news of Scott’s resignation was “disappointing.”

Although she was not aware of the resignation and the circumstances in which it occurred, Portela said Scott should have been given teaching freedom. As a teacher, she said, Scott should be allowed to do what it takes to get students to the next level as long as he is fair and not acting maliciously.

“We lost a valuable person,” Portela said. “(Scott) was very motivational and the way he got kids to learn and enjoy math was inspiring. In the end we lose.”

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