On November 7, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom
Torlakson, announced the selection of Californiaâ€™s five 2012 Teachers of
the Year. Torlakson said
in a statement Monday that the teachers have demonstrated
"a special ability to connect with their students, a zest for the
classroom, a genuine passion for an occupation that is so demanding yet
oh so rewarding."
Rebecca Mieliwocki teaches English at Luther Burbank
middle school in the Burbank Unified School District and was selected to
continue to the national competition to become teacher of the year.
Collett of Newark Junior high school in Newark Unified School District
and Shari Ann Herout, of Foxboro Elementary in the Travis Unified
District were also part of the five selected. Collett teaches
eighth-grade science and Herout is a kindergarten teacher.
teachers from Los Angeles County also made the list. Florence Avognon is
an English teacher at the Phoenix Academy, and was part of the Reading
Intervention Specialists Teachers program at Central Juvenile Hall
before being transferred because of budget cuts. Ken LaVigne is also an
English teacher at La Serna High School in the Whittier Union High
â€œLike all teachers in California, they are
struggling with budget challenges and cutbacks in programs. That is what
makes them even more extraordinary,â€ said Torlakson.
Teachers of the Year Program dates back to 1972 and was formed to
acknowledge the growing complexity of challenges faced by the profession
and the need to promote collaboration among teachers.
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