David Tollerud describes himself as down-to-earth and laid back.

"Really it just comes down to my personality," Tollerud said. "I'm pretty relaxed. I want them to be successful, I want them to know that they're valued... it's not just about the math when they're here."

Tollerud teaches math at Colony Middle School in Palmer. His undergraduate is in mathematics, but he's also taught science, physical education and English. 

"I mean really when it comes down to it, I love the kids," he said. "I mean middle school math it's not too hard, it's not too easy... but at the same time just being able to make math a little more fun for the kids is important."

His students say it's his calm demeanor and approach to teaching that is one of the reason's why he's successful and letting them know he believes in their potential.

Prior to teaching at Colony Middle School, Tollerud was a camp director at a kid's camp. 

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