SOURCE Los Angeles County Office of Education | http://prn.to/RMb6RY
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year were announced here today at a ceremony celebrating excellence in teaching.
The 16 were selected from a field of 71 teachers who participated in the 31st Annual Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year competition. All participants had been recently selected as teacher of the year by their respective school districts
The winning educators will serve as standard bearers for the teaching profession and their more than 76,000 classroom colleagues countywide.
They come from a diversity of school locales, including Arcadia, Covina, Culver City, Glendora, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Santa Fe Springs, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Monrovia, Diamond Bar and South Pasadena.
The county competition, presented by the Downey-based Los Angeles County Office of Education, is the largest competition of its kind in the state and nation. It is part of the oldest and most prestigious honors contest in the United States for public school teachers.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Arturo Delgado presented the 16 teachers at the annual event that aims to focus public attention on excellence in teaching.
"These are dedicated women and men who everyday make the most of a precious opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of their students," Delgado said in his welcome remarks.
"We teachers are the quiet hurricane of empowerment and possibility," said National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki in her keynote speech. Mieliwocki, who teaches in Burbank, California, was one of L.A. County's top 16 last year.
"Every moment that you spend in the service of educating another human being is an opportunity to change the world and make it a better world," she said.
The competition is designed to honor exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment.
In addition to being interviewed, contestants submitted essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels comprised of education peers.
The 16 L.A. County winners automatically advance with other county titlists from around the state to the California Teachers of the Year competition this fall. The state is scheduled to announce its five winners in November. One of them will be chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year contest next spring.
The 16 L.A. County Teachers of the Year received a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of the California Credit Union, the program's main sponsor.
The other sponsors of the Teachers of the Year program were DigitalEdgeLearning and Lakeshore Learning.
The 2012-13 L.A. County Teachers of the Year (alphabetical by district):
Daniel Johns, Arcadia Unified School District
Dana Middle School—Seventh Grade Physical Education; City of Residence: San Dimas; Years Teaching: 9
Jennifer Felter, Covina-Valley Unified School District
Merwin School—Fifth Grade; City of Residence: San Dimas; Years Teaching: 7
Kari Fretham, Culver City Unified School District
Culver City Middle School—Language Arts/ELD; City of Residence: Venice; Years Teaching: 34
Lynda Okerson, Glendora Unified School District
Cullen Elementary School—First Grade; City of Residence: West Covina; Years Teaching: 32
Jennifer Valencia, Little Lake City School District
Lake Center Middle School—Sixth Grade; City of Residence: La Habra; Years Teaching: 11
Erin Brady, Long Beach Unified School District
Holmes Elementary School—Third Grade; City of Residence: Garden Grove; Years Teaching: 17+ years
Kenneth Fisher, Long Beach Unified School District
Cabrillo High School—Mathematics; City of Residence: Garden Grove; Years Teaching: 13
Jeffrey Austin, Los Angeles Unified School District—Local District 2
Social Justice Humanitas Academy (Cesar Chavez Learning Academies/Sylmar) —Government/Economics/AP; City of Residence: Los Angeles; Years Teaching: 10
Stacey Joy, Los Angeles Unified School District—Local District 3
Baldwin Hills Gifted Magnet Elementary School—Fifth Grade; City of Residence: Inglewood; Years Teaching: 27
Veronica Marquez, Los Angeles Unified School District—Local District 5
Harmony Elementary School—Fifth Grade; City of Residence: Los Angeles; Years Teaching: 13
Julie Borsari, Lowell Joint School District
Jordan Elementary School—Fourth Grade; City of Residence: Fullerton; Years Teaching: 17
Linda Gesualdi, Manhattan Beach Unified School District
Mira Costa High School—Mathematics; City of Residence: Hermosa Beach; Years Teaching: 33
Kyle McClure, Monrovia Unified School District
Clifton Middle School—Life Science/Physical Science; City of Residence: Monrovia; Years Teaching: 10
Maryann Nielsen, South Pasadena Unified School District
South Pasadena High School—World History/American Government; City of Residence: Los Angeles; Years Teaching: 15
Sandra Davis, Walnut Valley Unified School District
Diamond Bar High School—English/Peer Counseling; City of Residence: Diamond Bar; Years Teaching: 25
Sheila LaCour, Wiseburn School District
Richard Henry Dana Middle School—Humanities/Social Studies; City of Residence: Hawthorne; Years Teaching: 34