Monday, April 23, 2012

National Teacher of the Year - Year 2012 (CA Dept of Education)

National Teacher of the Year - Year 2012 (CA Dept of Education):

California Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki
is Named America's Top Teacher

WASHINGTON, D.C.—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated California's Rebecca Mieliwocki for being selected as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, the nation's oldest and most prestigious teaching honor.
"Rebecca Mieliwocki is an inspiration to her students, to me, and to every California teacher. She brings enormous energy, enthusiasm, and optimism to teaching—a career that has never been more challenging, or more vital to our future," said Torlakson.
"She's the perfect choice for this tremendous honor, and I know she'll do an outstanding job of teaching the nation about the great things happening every day in California's public schools," he said.
She will be recognized by President Barack Obama on Tuesday in a ceremony at the White House.
One of five current California Teachers of the Year, Mieliwocki (pronounced "Milwaukee") has been teaching for 14 years, including nine years at Luther Burbank Middle School, where she teaches seventh grade English.
She didn't start out to be a teacher although both her parents were both teachers for 30 years. She first studied to become a lawyer, but eventually went into publishing. Finally, she admitted to herself that teaching was in her blood.
"It's in my DNA. It's who I am. It's who I'm supposed to be," she said. "Teaching truly is a calling. I may not have picked up the phone right away, but eventually I answered the call."
Mieliwocki earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and a Single Subject Professional Clear Credential in Secondary English Education from California State University, Northridge.
Mieliwocki, who is the 62nd National Teacher of the Year, will serve a one-year, full-time commitment as a national spokesperson for education.
The National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs and is sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target®.
Mieliwocki is the seventh National Teacher selected from California since the program began in 1952. The program's very first winner was a California teacher, Geraldine "Gerry" Jones, who taught in Santa Barbara. Other winners were Chauncey Veatch, 2002, Thermal; Marilyn J. Whirry, 2000, Manhattan Beach; Sandra McBrayer, 1994, San Diego; Janis T. Gabay, 1990, San Diego; Myrra Lenore Lee, 1977, Le Mesa.
In addition, eleven California Teachers of the Year have been named National Teacher of the Year finalists over the years.
To access the CCSSO News Release, go to CA Teacher Named 2012 National Teacher of the Year (Outside Source). For more information about National Teacher of the Year program, please visit the CCSSO Web site at: CCSSO - The National Teacher of the Year Program (Outside Source). For more information about California's Teachers of the Year Program, please visit: California Teachers of the Year.
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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates Four
California Schools to Win First National Green Ribbon Awards

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated four California schools that were among the first 78 nationwide to earn U.S. Department of Education "Green Ribbon Schools" titles for exemplary environmental programs and practices.
"California's schools are leading the way into a cleaner, more energy-efficient future, and it's wonderful to see that work recognized with some of the very first national Green Ribbon Schools awards," Torlakson said.
Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education nominated nearly 100 schools, of which 66 per public, including eight charters, and 12 were private. California nominated four schools (the maximum number allowed) and all were declared winners.
They are:
"I commend today's winners for their commitment to the earth and to learning," Torlakson said. "Science, environmental, and outdoor education are vital to prepare our students with 21st century skills in sustainability to grow our global economy."
Torlakson, whose Schools of the Future report issued last year led to California's participation in the federal awards program, said he was impressed by the inventive projects undertaken at the winning schools, from Walk-to-School Wednesdays to community recycling centers to rainwater collection irrigation systems.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the announcement of the Green Ribbon Schools winners this morning in Washington, D.C., where he praised the efforts of America's newly declared green schools.
In his proclamation declaring April 22, 2012 as Earth Day, President Barack Obama said, "As we work to leave our children a safe, sustainable future, we must also equip them with the tools they need to take on tomorrow's environmental challenges. Supporting environmental literacy and a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math for every student will help ensure our youth have the skills and knowledge to advance our clean energy economy." To read the complete proclamation, please go to: Presidential Proclamation -- Earth Day | The White House (Outside Source).
For more information on Torlakson's Schools of the Future Report, please visit the California Department of Education Web site at Schools of the Future Report (PDF; 1MB).
For more information on the USDE Green Ribbon Schools Program, please visit the CDE Web site at Green Ribbon Schools Award Program - School Facility.
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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100