2003 OUTSTANDING TEACHER OF AMERICA
Mark Olsen has taught at Gladstone High School for fifteen years. He teaches English and AP Literature and was formerly the Chair of the English Department.
Mr. Olsen initiated the AP Program at Gladstone and developed the district AP Program in English for the Azusa Unified School District. He serves on the committee to develop English and Language Arts curriculum for the high school junior and senior classes.
As a member of the Faculty Counsel, Mr. Olsen helps stage faculty events. He also participates in and assists with student events at the school.
The general consensus around Gladstone High is that Mr. Olsen goes above and beyond what most teachers do to help his students succeed. He pushes his students hard, but with such care that they don’t mind being challenged.
There are no discipline problems in Mr. Olsen’s class. He is supportive of students’ personal goals as well as their school goals and makes himself available before and after school. He utilizes his life experiences as a musician and Vietnam Veteran to help them understand different aspects of life.
For the last several years, Mr. Olsen has been honored by being chosen by the graduating seniors as the teacher to hand out diplomas at graduation.