Jim O’Connor is a strict Vietnam veteran and tenured math teacher whom you don’t want to mess with. He sports a short, military-style haircut and has sharp, watchful eyes that regularly scan his classroom.
After years in the military, he has an authoritative voice that catches all of his students’ attention. He also doesn’t put up with much out of any rowdy and restless teens in his high school classroom.
As an algebra and calculus teacher at St. Francis High School in California, Jim takes a “no bull” approach to teaching and reigning in 32 teenage boys. The students know him for his strict demeanor in the classroom, but when they learned of his nickname outside of the school, they were floored.
It turns out, Jim is known after 5 p.m. and on weekends as the baby whisperer. Jim is a TLC Volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he has devoted several days each week for 20 years cuddling ill infants.
Jim first lent a helping hand at the hospital when a friend convinced him to participate in a blood drive. He has type O negative blood, which is highly sought after as the universal blood type.
So Jim returned regularly to donate both blood and platelets. He managed to emerge as the hospital’s top donor, sharing 72 gallons of blood so far.