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August "Gus" Carlson, 2012 Milken Educator


Gus has been teaching at the Adeline C. Marston School in Hampton for 12 years. Although he’s a music instructor, rhythms and melodies aren’t the only topics August “Gus” Carlson teaches at Adeline C. Marston. The Hampton, NH, educator stirs in equal measures of math, reading, science and writing into his well-culled curriculum. He proactively queries teachers to identify those subjects students are struggling with and finds ways to address those weaknesses in his class.

Carlson incorporates songs, mnemonics, holiday productions and two annual plays, which focus on one major standard in a core subject, like “Geometry Island” in math or “Table of Elements” and “Plant Cycle” in science. Students also write essays and poems on the holidays throughout the year, along with a full suite of other innovative standards-based strategies. Carlson is on the job before and after school, teaching students new instruments. Also impressive: A full 90 percent of his kids continue honing their musical abilities in middle school.

Carlson’s leadership reaches to the state level, where he has presented to the NH State Board of Education. Closer to home, he mentors other district teachers, is his school’s curriculum leader, and serves on the Response to Intervention committee, to name a few. For the Veteran’s Day play at Marston, he invited 65 local veterans to watch the show-an applause-worthy example of his community outreach.


New Hampshire Department of Education
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Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711