BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Summer school takes on a whole new meaning when Jeremiah Young is the teacher.
"He makes class exciting," said student Justin Wood. "He likes to joke and have fun so it's easy. It felt like summer school has been so quick."
Mr. Young teaches Biology during the school year at Beaufort High School. But, this summer he's teaching Algebra and has created games to help the kids learn the material and succeed.
"He likes to crack jokes, he knows how to teach a class better and he knows a fun way to learn math," said Ebony Watson.
"I want to make learning fun but I also want to hold them to a standard that is going to push them to achieve," said Young. "Am I perfect with it? No, but I learn from my mistakes and I keep pushing the kids to push myself to do better."
And what he's doing in the classroom isn't going unnoticed. He's now a state finalist for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year by the American Board for Certification in Teacher Excellence and could be in the running for the National Teacher of the Year.
"I was shocked," said Young. "I'm actually pretty humbled at the response we've had so far with the votes. I have a lot of support out there and it's great."
"He loves the kids, he brings humor and creativity to the classroom and he brings out a great excitement," said Beaufort High School assistant principal Herbert Glaze. "He's full of energy and he really, really cares for the kids and they can see that and he has a good working relationship with them."
Young started teaching eight years ago and says the children make it all worthwhile.
"Seeing them succeed," said Young. "The 'a-ha' moments, when they finally get it, it clicks, that makes the biggest difference in my life."
Not only is he making a different at Beaufort High School, but he also serves as the youth and children's minister at his church.
"I just want to do whatever I can do as an individual to make a difference, a positive difference in their lives," said Young.
That's what he's doing, one student at a time.
Young is one of three finalist in South Carolina and he needs your votes to win and move on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year.