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Michael Sorola wins KENS 5 EXCEL Award for South San ISD

Michael Sorola’s unique way of sparking interest in the classroom, has earned him the KENS 5 EXCEL Award and $1,000 from our partner Credit Human.

SAN ANTONIO — He’s insightful and very good at teaching. That’s what students at South San Antonio ISD will tell you about their teacher. 

But if you ask him, he’ll tell you his biggest lesson isn’t about Physics. It’s about making mistakes, embracing them and growing.  

Michael Sorola’s unique way of sparking interest in the classroom, has earned him the KENS 5 EXCEL Award and $1,000 from our partner Credit Human. 

For a young man who saw himself on a different path “I didn't really want to be a teacher,”  the years have proved Michael Sorola wrong. 

 “I just needed a job and so I started coaching and I liked that.”

Sorola has been teaching 17 years now.

“I can't see doing anything other than teaching. It's too much fun.“

He’s got fun stuff all over his classroom “Honestly, like I get a paycheck to come in and, like, play with things,” Sorola added with humor “Oh, you want to light a bolt on fire? It's like the bolt on fire and see what it looks like through an infrared camera.”

Sorola makes it sound easy but truth is, he’s just really good at explaining the subject. He teaches Dual Enrollment Physics and Scientific research and design.

“He's made my critical thinking a lot better,“ said one student. 

His 10th, 11th and 12th graders at South San Antonio High School say he just knows how to spark their interest. “He likes to connect physics to the real world, and it makes it easier to learn.“

Another student told us he gives them a boost of self assurance. “He's really given me the confidence to really tackle hard subjects.”

The subjects are what they teach in college but these students are not intimidated. They credit Sorola.  

“Whenever I walk in, I know it's always going to be a good day,” said one student, “There's always something cool to learn from him. We always make this joke. He always has something for something.”

Sorola says he draws his inspiration from his own childhood experience.

“High school is a hard time for kids. I remember being in high school and trying to make that four years, maybe a little more manageable, even while teaching like a really hard subject,” Sorola said. 

And to this day he remembers the teacher who now inspires his easy-going teaching style . 

“I don't think I've ever talked to my physics teacher since then,” Sorola said, “But knowing he had that effect on me, you know, that's a different kind of reward.”

Sorola hopes his students remember him in the same way. He says his biggest reward is the ability to reach so many young people and watch them thrive.

“Seeing people succeed at something that's really hard, they don't really think they can do it at the beginning of the year and then at the end of the year, it's like, oh, that wasn't that bad. “

His one piece of advice to the kids, “You never know if you can be successful at something until you actually try it. You know, what's the worst thing that can happen? You fail. Oh, well, you learn something from it.”

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