September 29, 2008

Top School Teachers Named for 2008-09

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A total of 16 winners were announced today as the 2008-09 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year, representing the profession's "best of the best" in the largest honors competition for educators in the state.

At a morning hotel ceremony, the "Sweet 16" were named by Los Angeles County Supt. of Schools Darline P. Robles as outstanding educators who have been serving with praiseworthy distinction. Judged as the county's top public school teachers for this academic year, they will serve as standard-bearers for the teaching profession and their 80,000 classroom colleagues countywide.

The winning educators, comprised of 10 women and 2 men, teach a range of grades and subjects at a diversity of school sites, including: Calabasas, Downey, Encino, La Puente, Newhall, Norwalk, San Dimas, Saugus, Sylmar, Walnut and Whittier. (See full list on next page.) The entire field of 66 teachers who participated in the L.A. County competition had all been recently selected as teacher(s) of the year by their respective districts.

The L.A. County Teachers of the Year Program, presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, is the largest regional competition in the state and is part of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honors contest for public school teachers. The number of winners --- 16 --- is determined by program rules based on the total number of teachers (80,000) in L.A. County.

"These 16 teachers are dedicated men and women who have the opportunity of making a positive difference in the lives of their students --- and who every day make the most of that precious opportunity," said Robles about the group, each of whom received a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of the California Credit Union, the program's main sponsor.

In addition to getting interviewed, contestants submitted essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels comprised of peers. At all levels, TOY contests are designed to focus public attention on teaching excellence and to honor exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment.

L.A. County's 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 (5) co-winners in November. But only one (1) of those state co-winners will be chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year contest next spring.

   The 2008-09 L.A. County Teachers of the Year (alphabetical by district):    BELLFLOWER UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Tamara Zylla   Woodruff Elementary, Literacy; Years Teaching: 14; Residence: Garden Grove    BONITA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Delphine Kiser   Shull Elementary, 2nd-Grade; Years Teaching: 39; Residence: Glendora    BURBANK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Angela D'Mello  

McKinley Elementary, 2nd/3rd-Grades; Years Teaching: 27; Residence: Fair Oaks Ranch

   DOWNEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Meribeth Paulino   West Middle School, Social Studies; Years Teaching: 38; Residence: Downey    GLENDALE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- RaeEtta Emmett   Hoover High School, English/AVID; Years Teaching: 18; Residence: Sunland    HACIENDA LA PUENTE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Jill L. Wade  

La Puente High School, English; Years Teaching: 7; Residence: La Habra Heights


Stelle Middle School, Special Education; Years Teaching: 10; Residence: Agoura

LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (District #1) --- Kathie Yonemura

Hesby Oaks Elementary, 4th-Grade; Years Teaching: 21; Residence: Woodland Hills


Sylmar Sr High School, Soc Studies/History; Years Teaching: 10; Residence: Altadena

   LOWELL JOINT SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Carol Shaw   El Portal Elementary, 2nd-Grade; Years Teaching: 25; Residence: Whittier    NORWALK-LA MIRADA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Patrick McLoy  

Glenn High School, Drama/Stagecraft; Years Teaching: 12; Residence: Cypress

   SAUGUS UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Becky Mastrobuono   Rosedell Elementary, 6th-Grade; Years Teaching: 11; Residence: Saugus    SOUTH PASADENA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Emily Williams  

South Pasadena Middle, Life Science; Years Teaching: 9; Residence: Temple City

   WALNUT VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Melanie Hildreth   Walnut High School, Mathematics; Years Teaching: 33; Residence: Corona    WHITTIER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT --- Tiffany Tagle  

Edwards Middle, Mathematics; Years Teaching: 13; Residence: Rowland Heights


Placerita Jr High School, English; Years Teaching: 6; Residence: Valencia

Los Angeles County Office of Education

CONTACT: Rick de la Torre, +1-562-922-6360, +1-562-900-3972 or VickyLimon, +1-562-413-6874, both of the Los Angeles County Office of Education

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