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2014 Families and PetsEditors' Choice

Best K–12 Teacher

Jean-Philippe Filhol, Ecole Bilingue

Photo By Pat Mazzera

When people talk about Jean-Philippe Filhol, they use words like “phenomenal,” “exuberant,” and “magical.” Filhol, originally from the south of France, has spent the past 23 years teaching at Ecole Bilingue, the French immersion school in Berkeley. And he can’t imagine doing anything else. “I feel lucky to work with such enthusiastic kids and supportive families and passionate coworkers,” he says. This, from a man who, while still challenging his class academically, has been known to break out in song. As a first- and second-grade teacher, Filhol understands that each kid is unique, and he strives to reach out to every single one, not only academically, but emotionally and socially as well. Parents of his students say that he transformed their child; he’s like family; he draws the best out of children with his “almost palpable” positive energy. Take their word, or listen to former student Max Sivolella, now in high school, who wrote of Filhol, “He helped me not just become smarter, but become a better person too.”
Photo by Pat Mazzera

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