Teaching – a career and a ministry

October 2014 - Cover Story
by Linda Williamson

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October 2014 - Cover Story

When Don Sarazen shook President Barak Obama’s hand and accepted the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this spring, it validated his 21 years as a public school teacher in South Carolina. One hundred and two educators nationally receive this honor—only two from each state. Sarazen joined Spartanburg science teacher Jed Dearybury and 100 other teachers at a White House reception to accept the honor.

Along with the distinction, Sarazen received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to use at his discretion. He was invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including a visit with President Obama and members of Congress and the administration.

When Sarazen, 53, a 1992 Columbia International University (CIU) graduate who teaches at H.B. Rhame Elementary school in Columbia, joined the other

educators honored during a White House reception, he had the opportunity to speak words of faith to the president. “Mr. President,” he said, “I pray for you.”

“I need prayer,” the president responded.

An exchange like this is typical for Sarazen, who credits God with calling him into the ministry of teaching.

Sarazen, a New York native, began his adult life by serving in the U.S. Army in the mid-80s. After seven years of service, he sensed a calling toward full-time Christian ministry. The Army chaplaincy made sense, so he enrolled in CIU with the goal of obtaining his Master of Divinity degree. He planned to return to the Army following graduation.

Why did Christ die for you?   www.whyhedied.org

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