"Once you can acknowledge that you're not the greatest at something is when self-growth truly begins. Try, fail, try again and succeed." - Gerron Hurt

LEAD Academy English teacher Gerron Hurt beat out more than 20 other "home cook" competitors to win the MasterChef title in the season finale last night!

Gerron, who joined the LEAD network as a Nashville Teacher Resident, beat out competitors Ashley Mincey of Miami and Cesar Cano of Houston to earn the title of MasterChef Season 9 Winner. Joining Gerron at the finale were his fiance, Cameron teacher Brandi Beckham, his father and grandmother.

"Throughout the season, Gerron displayed the drive and characteristics we so often ask of one another and, especially, our students," said CEO Dwayne Tucker. "He was courageous in trying out for the show in the first place. He was committed, disciplined and self-reliant in his approach to the competition and the way in which he talked about his students and his passion for them was the very definition of serving others."

The MasterChef finale included a visit to LEAD Academy High School, where Gerron's students gave his coach Joe Bastianich a perspective of what it's like to be in his classroom.

"We can really relate to Mr. Hurt," said Adam Smith, who graduated this past May. "His background is the same as mine. Just knowing how far he's come, I believe that I can achieve the same things."

Gerron appeared online this morning for a live chat with the Courier News in Louisville (check it out here). To watch Gerron's journey, please visit this link. Congratulations, Gerron!

***

ABOUT LEAD Public Schools: Founded in 2007 with a promise to do whatever it takes to enroll high school graduates in a four-year college, LEAD is now the city's largest homegrown charter school network with more than 2,400 students across six schools. Earlier this year, LEAD announced that all schools scored a Level 4 or higher on the TVAAS, which means our students are learning faster and performing better than their peers across the state. In 2018, LEAD Academy graduated its fifth-consecutive class of students who earned 100 percent acceptance to college. Additionally, five out of the 49 teachers in the city announced as Blue Ribbon Award winners for teaching excellence were part of our LEAD family.