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Meet Mr Franklin - Hart Vision Teacher of the Year

“His level of diligence, and his level of commitment to our students is absolutely remarkable”



Everyone at Aurum Preparatory Academy (Aurum Prep) is dedicated to our mission to educate all students in grades 6 through 8 to succeed in high school, college, and life, and serve as the next generation of moral leaders. We actively provide ongoing, face to face support for our students, families, and staff in order to transform lives by equipping those in the Aurum family to achieve their greatest potential.


One of our favorite secrets to this recipe of [support = success] is our very own Dean of Curriculum and Instruction, Justin Franklin. Earning the prestigious award of Hart Vision Teacher of the Year, Mr. Franklin has been recognized for his outstanding records of leadership and excellence in public education. Hart Vision Teachers are recognized for their commitment to developing great public school communities that help all students achieve success in academics and in life.


This is absolutely our experience of Mr. Franklin. “His level of diligence, and his level of commitment to our students is absolutely remarkable” said our very own Founder & Executive Director, David Hardin.


We love sharing our secrets to success with you, our community, and so we asked Mr. Franklin a few questions to help you get to know him better. Interview below:



“I am very big on character education and shaping habits of children early. The habits they develop now will carry them through the rest of their lives.” - Mr. Franklin


As a youth, what did you want to do when you grew up?

When I was younger, I had dreams of working in TV production or possibly becoming a firefighter.


When did you decide to work in education?

My grandmother was a teacher and she gave so much to our community. I saw what a difference teaching can make in the lives of our youth. Then, during my time in college, I was very interested in education and I was active in several different tutoring programs. These were the seeds of inspiration that moved me towards my work in education. After college, I worked in a few different industries and always came back to education.

When in other industries, I realized that what I was doing didn’t have the quality of purpose and value that I want to live my life by. At Aurum Prep, I find my work and my life to be co-elevating. I’m able to live intentionally and purposefully, modeling all the values we share.


What do you like most about your job?

The connections I make with students and staff at Aurum Prep make life better every day. Seeing students grow academically, flower in their personal lives, and strengthen socially and emotionally day to day and year to year - that is the greatest gift of all.


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

What free time? I’m from the bay area, so my deep connections here keep me busy! I make time to spend with loved ones and find ways to relax. I love walking by water, listening to the sound of the ocean, and sitting by the beach. Then in those rare moments I have all to myself, I enjoy going to the gym, working out, and staying healthy.


Mr. Justin Franklin Bio

Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies with minors in both Education and Global Poverty and Praxis from the University of California, Berkeley. While at UC Berkeley, Justin also competed as an NCAA athlete. Since graduating, he has dedicated his career to working with youth as a teacher, mentor, coach, case manager, tutor, and college counselor. Justin has taught students at Making Waves, College Track, Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, Stiles Hall, Level Playing Field Institute and UC Berkeley. Justin is excited to further his dedication to empowering youth through education as the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at Aurum Preparatory Academy.



Extended Family at Aurum Prep

Everyone here believes in our students and is dedicated to doing what we can to help them succeed. On top of being a small, safe, and free public school, we host a culturally representative teaching staff that empowers our students by showing them what is possible and teaching them how to dream big.


If you are looking for the right school to support your youth, give us a call at (510) 746-7860 and talk to a real person.


Feel free to email us: info@aurumprep.org with questions and we will get back to you.


Now enrolling 6-8th grade students in East Oakland.










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