Educator profile

Meet a member of the EF Superhero League, Jamie Sunshine!

Jamie Sunshine

via Jamie Sunshine

Teachers are the world’s greatest unsung heroes, so to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked students to tell us what makes their favorite teacher a superhero. After reading the nomination story for Jamie Sunshine—an English teacher from Fountain Hills, Arizona—we knew he certainly fit the cape.

Get to know the superhero—in his own words:

Special power: I’m very good at reading people. With students, it helps me be someone they can talk to about anything and help with problems of all kinds. They think it’s magic or some magical psychology.

Origin story: I wish I had a cool origin story like “my ship landed on Earth and I wanted to educate the Earthlings with what I know” or “after a childhood tragedy, I vowed to not let this happen to other kids,” but I feel mine may be more mundane. The best answer I can give you is that I don’t want kids to be like the adults they see ruining the world. I want them to question everything and leave the world a better place than what they inherited.

Kryptonite: My true Kryptonite may be my sweet tooth. More like a mouthful of sweet teeth.

Jamie Sunshine Students

Here’s what Jamie Sunshine’s student, Tatum J., had to say in his nomination story:

Mr. Sunshine is an amazing person. I mean, how could a person NOT be great with that last name?! It deserves an award within itself! 

When I say he is the most well-liked teacher who has ever been a part of the Fountain Hills School District—I mean it. There has not been one student who hasn’t felt understood and listened to by Mr. Sunshine (most of us call him Sunny). Even his students from 7 or more years ago stay in touch with him.

Not only is he simply Fountain Hills High School’s AP English Literature and Freshman English teacher, he is a mentor, a sci-fi geek, a brilliant writer, and a friend.

Sunny always stands up for his students. I’m pretty sure the man has not had one lunch break alone in the last 15 or so years he has been at Fountain Hills—everyone always arrives to his classroom during lunch to get his insight and advice whether it be on college apps, essay help, or his specialty: the “what am I going to do with my life?!” student breakdowns. He always makes every student feel important and helps us to all see our own strengths.

Although he lives quite a far drive from Fountain Hills, recently lost his best friend (his little dog of many years), and is helping to support his sister in another state with multiple sclerosis, he continues to devote his time to inspiring the young minds of Fountain Hills. He chaperones EF Trips, he chaperones every school dance and pep rally, and he spends all of his time at the school. His name has become synonymous with friend, mentor, ‘The best teacher to have ever taught at Fountain Hills High School,’ and of course, sunshine!

Jamie Sunshine deserves this award. He is a hero to many students, myself included. He helped me realize that I am capable of reaching all of my dreams (and I dream BIG!) It would be an honor to our little town to see all of our hero have a chance to do something nice for himself. It’s about time he get some recognition.

Thank you for your consideration!

Let’s give teachers like Jamie Sunshine the superhero recognition they deserve.

To thank Jamie for his service, we rewarded him with a $1,000 school donation as well as a trip to New York City. And to thank all teachers, we’re lighting the Empire State Building in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. See it shine in EF’s signature pink on Friday, May 11. After all, superhero teachers deserve a super-large spotlight.

Sarah McLaughlin

Sarah is a senior copywriter at EF Education First. When she isn’t writing, you can find her browsing through bookshops, trying to cook, or going to improv class (which is basically just an excuse for adults to play make-believe).

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