Monday, April 23, 2012
California teacher is National Teacher of the Year
Mieliwocki and all 2012 State Teachers of the Year will be recognized by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House on April 24. Mieliwocki is known for unconventional teaching practices, developed over her 13 years of teaching—the last 9 of which she has spent at Luther Burbank Middle School, where she teaches general education and Gifted and Talented Education classes.
A child of two veteran teachers, Rebecca initially shied away from teaching, but soon realized that there is no nobler profession.
Mieliwocki believes strongly in good teacher preparation programs and values the teaching profession as a sought-after career. She says, “I firmly believe that teachers must be held accountable for their students’ success, from helping them meet personal or school-wide learning goals to achieving on district and state level assessments.”
“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 Tom Torlakson, California Superintendent of Public Instruction. “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.”
"Students learn best when they have the most enthusiastic, engaged teachers possible," says Mieliwocki. “I firmly believe that teachers must be held accountable for their students’ success, from helping them meet personal or school-wide learning goals to achieving on district and state level assessments. Our students are our future, so we, their teachers, must do our best to inspire them and guide them to greatness."
2012 National Teacher of the Year finalists included:
Gay Barnes—2012 Alabama Teacher of the Year
Barnes is a first grade teacher at Horizon Elementary School in Alabama. She has 21 total years of teaching experience and taught at Horizon Elementary School for seven years.
Angela Wilson—2012 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year
Wilson is a seventh grade Language Arts and Forensics teacher at Vicenza Middle School in Italy. She has 11 years of teaching experience and has been at Vicenza Middle School for two years.
Alvin Aureliano Davis—2012 Florida Teacher of the Year
Davis is a music teacher at Miramar High School in Florida. He has taught a total of 11 years, the last eight at Miramar High School.
A panel of educators, representing 15 national education organizations, chose the finalists from the 2012 state teachers of the year in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and four U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. State teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the states. Applications are then submitted to CCSSO, where the national selection committee reviews the data on each state candidate and selects the four finalists. The selection committee then personally interviews each finalist before naming the National Teacher of the Year.