Jaime Escalante Biography
(Bolivian-American Math Instructor)
Birthday: December 31, 1930 (Capricorn)
Born In: La Paz, Bolivia
Jaime Alfonso Escalante Gutiérrez was a celebrated Bolivian teacher and one of the most famous educators in America during 1980s and 1990s. He began teaching mathematics to troubled students in a Los Angeles school and became famous for leading many of them to pass the advanced placement calculus test. Born to teacher parents, he realized that his true passion was teaching and following in their footsteps, he became an educator as well. Later, he left Bolivia in search of a better life but upon arriving in America, he learned that his teaching credentials were not sufficient to teach there. So he earned another bachelor's degree plus an American teaching certificate in order to become an educator. As a teacher, he strove to bring his kids to their full potential, working with them to help them understand mathematics. He is best remembered as the mathematics teacher at Garfield High School who led a group of students to excel at complex subjects such as advanced algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. A group of his students passed the advance placement exam in calculus for the first time in the history of the school—one of his greatest achievements as a teacher. He saw the potential in his students that other teachers had failed to see before, and pushed them to amazing heights.