Alumni Named Teachers of the Year in Four California Counties
Top honors taken in San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
Autumn is the time of year when many counties across California name their teachers of the year, and several National University alumni are usually among their ranks.
This past fall, two National University alumni each were named County Teachers of the Year for 2011-2012 in San Diego and Orange Counties; and one alumnus each was named Teacher of the Year in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Mark Burroughs (M Ed, 2002), a fifth-grade teacher at San Pasqual Union School, and Alicia McBride (MAT, 2004), a language arts, history and personal development instructor at Reflections, a county probation department day treatment center in La Mesa, were selected in San Diego County.
According to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Mark Burroughs comes from a long line of teachers and figured he’d either grow up to be a teacher or a police officer. He initially worked as a federal probation officer and helped train new officers before changing careers.
The Union-Tribune reported that Alicia McBride grew up in East Los Angeles, went to college on a softball scholarship and initially planned to go into law enforcement, working as a probation officer in Juvenile Hall before becoming a teacher.
Alumni earning this honor in the past include Darin Curtis (2010-2011); Patty Blome (2008-2009); Bill Kvitli (2008-2009); Tami Reina (2007-2008); and Pamela Moorehead (2006-2007).
Doug Bettencourt (CRED – 2004) a fifth grade teacher at Juliet Morris Elementary School in Cypress, California, and Sunshine Cavalluzzi (M.Ed – 2003), a teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia, California, took the honors in Orange County. Alumni earning this title in the past include Greg McFall (2007-2008) and Tim Thomas (2006-2007). To read more about Doug Bettencourt and Sunshine Cavalluzzi in the Orange County Register, click here.
Deanna Fowler (MS, Special Education - 2001) a special education teacher who teaches deaf and hard of hearing students at Hawthorne Elementary in Ontario, California, has been selected as the San Bernardino County Teacher of the Year. Alumni earning this title in the past include Lynette Eisele (2006-2007).
Michele Hampton (MS, Educational Technology - 2002) an AP and Honors Chemistry teacher at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California, has been selected as a Riverside County Teacher of the Year. Alumni earning this title in the past include Katie Kearney (2008-2009).
The County Teachers of the Year programs feed into the the California Teachers of the Year Program. Initiated in 1972, the statewide program honors the best among 300,000 dedicated professionals throughout California, recognizing those who are exceptional at fostering and advancing academic success and bringing parity to a diverse spectrum of students.
To date, seven National University Alumni have earned this prestigious distinction, including Darin Curtis (San Diego, CA) – 2010-2011; Lewis Chappelear (Los Angeles Co.) – 2007-2008; Gregory McFall (Orange Co.) – 2007-2008; Tamara Reina (San Diego Co.) – 2007-2008; Alan Sitomer (Los Angeles Co.) – 2006-2007; Jan Mongoven (San Diego Co.) – 2000-2001; and Sandra McBrayer (San Diego Co.) – 1994-1995.
Many of these individuals, in turn, represent California in the National Teacher of the Year program, which began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program focusing public attention on excellence in teaching.
The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing major national education organizations. Each April, that special teacher is introduced to the American people by the President of the United States. One alumna, Sandra McBrayer, took the title of National Teacher of the Year in 1994.