Three National University Named 2008 California Teachers of the Year

La Jolla, Calif. – Three National University alumni are among the five 2008 California Teachers of the Year announced by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell early this month.

The three National University alumni named 2008 California Teachers of the Year are: Lewis Chappelear, who teaches engineering design at James Monroe High School in North Hills (Los Angeles County); Gregory McFall, an eighth grade teacher at Johnson Middle School in Westminster (Orange County); and Tamara Reina, who teaches English and U.S. history at the East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility in Otay Mesa (San Diego County).

Andee Aceves, who teaches third grade at San Altos Elementary School in Lemon Grove (San Diego County), and Michael Allen Long, a combination fourth and fifth grade teacher at Carmela Elementary School in Whittier (Los Angeles County), also were named 2008 California Teachers of the Year.

“I congratulate these five outstanding teachers who represent the best and the brightest in California,” O’Connell said. “In recognizing them, their creativity, focus, and enthusiasm, we celebrate the essence of what teaching is, and that is being given the opportunity to change lives. These teachers have proven time and again that such change is not only possible but essential to the future success of California’s children as productive members of society.”

Chappelear, McFall, and Reina join a distinguished list of National University alumni who have been named California Teacher of the Year, including: Sandra McBrayer (1994); Jan Mongoven (2000); and Alan Sitomer (2007).

Chappelear also has been chosen to represent California in the 2008 National Teacher of the Year competition. The winner will be selected in the spring by a panel convened by the Council of Chief State School Officers. All candidates for the National Teacher of the Year program will be honored at a White House ceremony.

Like Chappelear, Sitomer and McBrayer also were chosen to represent the state in the national competition, with McBrayer receiving the nation’s top educational honor in 1994.

The announcement of Chappelear, Sitomer, and McBrayer as California Teachers of the Year is yet another example of National University being recognized for the excellence of its School of Education. Including this year, nine National University alumni have been named San Diego County Teachers of the Year in the past 10 years. In the past, National University alumni have earned such honors as National Teacher of the Year (1994); California Teacher of the Year (1994 and 2000); California Principal of the Year (2003); Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher of the Year (2002); and Sacramento County Teacher of the Year (2003).

National University’s School of Education has been consistently recognized for the diversity of its graduates and students completing their teaching credentials. Diverse in Higher Education ranks National University first in California in granting master’s degrees in education to all minorities.

National University has prepared more candidates for single subject, multiple subject, and special education teaching credentials than any other single institution of higher education in California for seven years in a row, according to the most recent figures released by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

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