New Jaime Escalante stamp celebrated at Garfield High School

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Friends, family and fans of legendary educator Jaime Escalante - portrayed in the film "Stand and Deliver" - celebrated the new postal stamp in his honor at Garfield High School. (KABC)

Crowds lined up at Garfield High School on Saturday to celebrate the new postal stamp honoring legendary educator Jaime Escalante.

The math teacher's classroom achievements at the East Los Angeles school were made famous by the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver."

"This is celebrating a historic figure, especially here at Garfield High," said Ken Snavely, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

The film was inspired by events in 1982, when 18 of Escalante's students passed the Advanced Placement calculus test. The College Board, which runs the AP program, accused 14 students of cheating.

Escalante suspected the cheating accusation stemmed from the fact that his students were Latinos from a low-income area. The College Board denied the allegation and proposed having the 14 students retake the test.

Twelve of the 14 agreed to take another exam, and all passed.

Escalante died in 2010 of cancer at age 79. Some of his relatives and former students attended Saturday's event honoring him.

"He represents all of the educators that truly care about their students," said Elsa Bolado, one of Escalante's former students.

RELATED: Jaime Escalante honored with special stamp

Actor Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in "Stand and Deliver."

"If it wasn't for teachers, none of us would be where we are today," Olmos said earlier this week during a stamp unveiling ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The stamp depicts Escalante in his signature flat cap, looking forward and standing in front of a chalkboard on which calculus symbols are visible.

The illustration is based on a photograph taken by Escalante's son Jaime II in the classroom at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento where the elder Escalante taught.
Escalante taught at Garfield from 1974-91. He later taught in Sacramento and his native Bolivia.

Olmos received a best actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Escalante in "Stand and Deliver."

City News Service contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
educationeducationUSPSteachermovieEast Los AngelesLos Angeles County
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