2017 All-Star Teacher finalist Andrew Seike

2017 All-Star Teacher finalist Andrew Seike

Like many people in the Bay Area, Andrew Seike’s parents were immigrants but unlike many of these immigrants, Mr. Seike’s parents were from two historically opposing cultures.  His father who was born China in the late 20s and his mother in the early 30s in Japan met after WWII when sentiments between the two cultures were at its worst. Born in San Francisco, this dichotomy of culture and a desire to fit in mainstream America shaped Mr. Seike greatly at an early age.  During these formative years life was unusually tumultuous and to facilitate an escape he often found solace in the only safe haven provided by his environment. In school he was nurtured by several important teachers who left an indelible mark on his life. With the assistance of these influential role models coupled with his mother’s wonderful altruism and magnanimity, he found fulfillment in the improvement of the welfare of others from teaching neighborhood children how to skateboard to helping a struggling friend with literature or math. Although he does not harbor any discontent, Mr. Seike was not afforded many  luxuries in his youth having never been on a plane, experiencing a family trip or even travelling anywhere out of the Bay Area.  However, in literature he was able to travel the world vicariously through the dreams, realities and lives of some of the greatest minds in the world. In literature he found one of his deepest passions and gravitated towards its comforting embrace. Although Mr. Seike had a burgeoning experience in computers since his childhood, Mr. Seike decided in his junior year of high school that he wanted to follow the footsteps of his mother (who taught for a brief time in Japan) and the teachers that impacted his life.

Both parents being blue collar workers, Mr. Seike worked dozens of jobs but finally found stability in the budding tech industry to help pay for his education and living expenses while going through college to become an English teacher. He has always felt since those early years that he needed to constantly prove himself worthy of teaching English and he strove to make this possible through determination, effort and conscientious study. He faced significant opposition even from college English professors who strongly discouraged him from continuing his dream. Strangely even with the great diversity within the City, he was only one of four people of color in the teaching program that year and the only person of color who pursued English as his major.  Even with the blossoming computer industry that was steadily becoming quite lucrative, he never once waivered in his conviction to help others through the joy of literature eventually earning his credential from San Francisco State University in mid 90s becoming the first Asian male English teacher to ever graduate according to his credential professor who taught at SFSU for over twenty five years.

He has been at Lynbrook high school for over twenty years and has taught many of the subjects in his department. He currently teaches 9th grade Literature and Writing and 11th grade AP Language and composition. Mr. Seike believes in teaching to the whole person and has the perfect subject to do so. In hopes of reaching more students and fostering the development of character, he created a martial arts class as a PE Elective (with the blessing and support of his wonderful school) which was unfortunately suspended after seven years due to budget cuts. Today he continues to teach martial arts as a club at his school in an after school program. 

Although Mr. Seike can be quite technical and analytical in his delivery, he believes that fostering the love of literature and learning is of paramount importance especially at a school whose general audience will pursue a career in science or math.  His feelings for his students and staff is indescribable as well as his concern for their welfare. He fosters an environment that is full of laughter and completely carefree where students are able to speak their own mind without fear of reprisal and encourages them be themselves through humor and by relaying self-deprecating and often comical stories about himself and his life experiences.   He never takes his job or position for granted, teaching every moment with great reflection, passion and intensity with hopes to inspire his students to appreciate their lives by connecting difficult life lessons to their own through the wonderful stories from literature. His appreciation of all the things he has and the people who have helped him so greatly in his life motivates him to be the best person and teacher he can be.  

Mr. Seike is currently engaged to his wonderful fiancée Christine and is owned by his menagerie of pets in San Jose. 

Mr. Seike is truly humbled and in complete disbelief for being offered a chance to win the All Star teacher award knowing that simply being recognized is a gift in on itself. If he wins he will replace and add many  mats and supplies so sorely needed for his martial arts program with the remainder (if any) to be used on technology to supplement his English classes. 

With eighth round TKO, Ward stops Kovalev in rematch, moves to 32-0

With eighth round TKO, Ward stops Kovalev in rematch, moves to 32-0

LAS VEGAS -- Andre Ward vowed he would leave no doubt this time around and he didn't, stopping Sergey Kovalev in the eighth round Saturday night to win their light heavyweight title rematch.

The undefeated Ward turned the fight around with a big right hand that wobbled Kovalev, then swarmed all over him. Kovalev was in the neutral corner and Ward was landing shots to the body when Kovalev sat on the ring rope and referee Tony Weeks signaled an end to the bout at 2:29 of the eighth.

"I knew this time it was going to be different," Ward said.

The fight had been close until Ward (32-0) turned it around with the right hand, with Kovalev (30-2-1) winning the early rounds before Ward began making adjustments and Kovalev began tiring. Both fighters complained of dirty tactics and Weeks spent a lot of his time breaking up clinches.

Ward won the first fight in November, coming back from a second round knockdown to get a controversial decision. The rematch seemed just as close until Ward landed the right hand that caused Kovalev's legs to wobble.

"He's a great fighter," Ward said. "You've got to raise your game to the next level and thankfully that's what we did tonight."

Kovalev complained that Ward hit him with two low blows in the final exchange, forcing him to sit on the first rope.

"Why stop the fight?" he said. "I could have continued to fight."

The fight was rough and tumble from the beginning, much like when the two met the first time when both were unbeaten. But while Kovalev was supposed to be the puncher it was a big right hand by Ward that landed midway through the eighth.

"I could tell he was reacting to my body shots and I knew I had him then," Ward said. "I knew he was hurt."

Ward was up by a point on two scorecards and down three points on the third going into the eighth. But Kovalev was fading, just as he had in the first fight, and he picked up the pace. Kovalev was credited with throwing 407 punches to 238 for Ward, and outlanding him 95-80.

There was genuine dislike between the two fighters, born largely out of their first fight. Neither made any effort to touch gloves when given their final instructions, and once the bell rang, they both went after each other.

The fight itself played out early somewhat like the first one, with Kovalev starting out aggressively and Ward trying to find his rhythm. Weeks, meanwhile, was working hard to keep control as the two fighters clinched and hit each other behind the head, with Ward landing a low blow in the second round that doubled Kovalev over and caused Weeks to pause the bout.

He did that! Congrats @andresogward #wardkovalev2 #SOG

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Long shot Cloud Computing pulls off upset at 142nd Preakness Stakes


Long shot Cloud Computing pulls off upset at 142nd Preakness Stakes

BALTIMORE -- Sometimes it pays to have a fresh horse.

Cloud Computing skipped the Kentucky Derby, while eventual winner Always Dreaming and Classic Empire mixed it up in the mud at Churchill Downs.

Two weeks later, Cloud Computing pounced on those two horses in the Preakness, pulling off an upset victory at 13-1 odds Saturday. He became the first horse to skip the Derby and win the second leg of the Triple Crown since filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

"Some of the reason that we won today was because we were patient and didn't throw an inexperienced horse against a 20-horse field in the Derby on a very difficult track," winning co-owner Seth Klarman said. "We made a great call."

Always Dreaming and Classic Empire dueled for most of the race before Classic Empire stuck his nose in front midway on the far turn. It looked as if Classic Empire would go on to win, but Cloud Computing ran him down on the outside.

Always Dreaming faded to eighth in the 10-horse field on a cool and cloudy day at Pimlico. The crowd of 140,327 and wagering total of $94,127,434 were records, bettering the marks set last year.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Cloud Computing ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.98 and paid $28.80, $8.60 and $6. It was just the dark brown colt's fourth career start, the fewest of any horse in the race, and only his second win. He didn't run as a 2-year-old because of injury.

Classic Empire returned $4.40 and $4, and 31-1 shot Senior Investment was another 4 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $10.20.

New York-based trainer Chad Brown earned his first victory in a Triple Crown race. Castellano won for the second time. He rode Bernardini to victory in the 2006 Preakness.

Castellano comes from a racing family, with a father, uncle and brother who have been jockeys.

"We've been working for a long time for this moment," he said. "It's great for the family."

The 142nd Preakness had been billed as a match race between Always Dreaming and Classic Empire, and it was from the start.

They broke out of the starting gate next to each other and the fight was on. Always Dreaming took a slight lead with Classic Empire on his flank.

Meanwhile, Cloud Computing was back in third as Castellano watched the duel unfold in front of him.

Always Dreaming was the first to throw in the towel, surrendering the lead to Classic Empire midway around the final turn.

"We didn't have an excuse," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Always Dreaming. "We were in a position we expected to be, and I think the turnaround was a little too quick. He ran so hard in the Derby and today just wasn't his day."

Always Dreaming lost for the first time in five races this year. He'd won his first four by a combined 23 1/4 lengths.

Classic Empire and Julien Leparoux went into the stretch with three-length lead, seemingly on his way to the winner's circle.

At that point, trainer Mark Casse thought he was headed there, too.

"Of course," he said. "But I thought I was going to win a lot of times before, so it doesn't shock me."

But Classic Empire also paid a price for putting away Always Dreaming. Classic Empire fought on to the finish line, but couldn't hold off a fresh horse in Cloud Computing.

"Certainly I'm not going to dispute the fact that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy," Brown said. "Our horse is very talented, too. Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are two outstanding horses, and our strategy was, if we are ever going to beat them let's take them on two weeks' rest when we have six (weeks), and it worked."

After Cloud Computing ran third in the Wood Memorial, Brown and the owners decided the colt would benefit from skipping the Derby. He came into the Preakness after a six-week break.

"It just didn't work out in the Wood. We just ran out of time," Brown said. "We just really zeroed in on this race, and thankfully it worked out."

The victory was especially sweet for Klarman, who grew up a few blocks from Pimlico. He turns 60 on Sunday. He and William Lawrence have been buying and racing horses together since 2006.

"This is the culmination of 25 years of hard work and learning and trying to figure this game out," said Klarman, president of the Baupost Group, a hedge fund valued at $31 billion.

"In my regular life, I'm a long-term value investor. This is gambling. It's really been a thrill and this is the highlight of our career so far as thoroughbred owners."

Klarman, who races as Klaravich Stables, is a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox.

Lookin At Lee, the Derby runner-up, was fourth. Gunnevera was fifth, followed by Multiplier and Conquest Mo Money. Hence was ninth and Term of Art last.