You might have heard about Janet Scott’s kids. They’ve been in the news lately, and for good reason. They recently placed second in the state in three out of the four categories of the Texas Math & Science Coaches Association competition. Before that, six of them — Burke Hall, Max Harris, Ellis Shwarts, Ben Gallant, Michael Robinowitz and Daniel Oyedapo — were among the 10 students chosen to represent Dallas in the state MathCounts competition. Her kids, as Scott calls them, are her students at Franklin Middle School, part of a class devoted entirely to preparing for math tests. But, says Scott, “we do so much together that we’ve become like an extended family.” The class, made up of more than 30 seventh- and eighth-grade students, prepares for the tests throughout the week. Then, on most Saturdays of the school year, Scott drives them to the competitions around the state. It all adds up to a lot of time for togetherness. “The students have all become friends,” she says. “And it’s some of the most popular kids in school and not-as-popular kids, so it makes a great mix.” Scott teaches at Franklin each weekday morning, driving to Hillcrest High School to finish out the afternoon. There she coaches former Franklin students who want to continue with math competitions on the high school level. She also works with math coaches at Kramer, Preston Hollow and Pershing elementary schools, whose sixth graders compete as a part of the Franklin team. “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy working with the elementary teachers,” she says. “By the time their sixth-graders get to Franklin, they’re experienced and used to working with our team. We really have a little dynasty going here.” It all adds up to a huge time commitment for Scott, and very few free weekends during the school year. “I’m part of a dying breed,” she says. “And we’re nuts, because it takes up all of our time.” Dawn Hall, whose son Burke was one of the six students to attended the state competition, says she’s never seen anything like it. “She is an amazing woman,” she says. “I have never known a teacher who delights in her subject and those who do well in it the way she does.” And that’s why, it seems, Scott has no immediate plans of slowing down. “I keep thinking I should retire,” she says, “but I’m so drawn to these unbelievable kids in math. That’s what keeps me going — they’re always asking me more questions, wanting to know more. How could you refuse to sit down with a kid who just wants to learn?” Scott grew up in Preston Hollow, attending Preston Hollow, Franklin and Hillcrest herself. Back then, she never expected to return one day as a teacher. “I never thought I’d be back at Franklin,” she says. “I had thought about going into business. But I started teaching and really liked it. Now I know that I was meant to be a teacher.”


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