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Education

Charlotte Teacher’s Story Featured In Oscars Ad

verizon will loesel.JPG
Verizon Wireless
/
YouTube
Charlotte teacher Wil Loesel talks about using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic -- and his cancer treatments -- to connect with students in a new Verizon ad that's airing during the 93rd Academy Awards.

Folks from Charlotte tuning in to the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday night might see a familiar face during the commercial breaks.

Wil Loesel, a math teacher at Albemarle Road Middle School with Teach For America, will be featured in one of several Verizon ads highlighting people who used the network “to do amazing things and overcome challenging hardships” during the COVID-19 pandemic, the wireless carrier said in a statement.

Loesel was diagnosed with cancer shortly after North Carolina’s public schools were ordered to go fully remote last spring.

“The timing of my diagnosis couldn’t have been any better,” Loesel said in an interview posted by UNC Charlotte, where he graduated college. “If I was going to get cancer, this was the time to get it. I didn’t miss time from class. As the pandemic hit, everything changed anyway.”

He was able to keep working online -- even during chemotherapy treatments. In the 30-second ad, Loesel talks about how he was able to teach remotely while in the hospital and how connectivity “helped bridge the isolation.”

“The nurses would come in, and they were like, ‘You’re teaching?’” Loesel says. “We’re kind of all isolated now. I’m not going to leave these kids.”

Verizon says Loesel’s treatment was successful and that he’s still teaching. You can watch the ad below if you miss the Oscars.

Oscars | Wil | Verizon :30