Two LAUSD Educators Named L.A. County ‘Teachers of the Year’

LOS ANGELES – Recognized for their dedication and contribution to student achievement, two Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) educators were named Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year (TOY) for 2013-2014 during a ceremony today at Universal City.

Wendy Yajaira Monroy from Narbonne High School and Jayme Tao from John Muir Middle School were honored with the annual award that recognizes classroom excellence in the county.
The standard-bearers are now in the running for the California Teachers of the Year Award.

A total of 16 classroom teachers were announced for the 2013-14 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year by education officials. The chosen teachers represent the profession’s “best of the best” in the largest honors competition for K-12 educators in the state.

“These teachers represent the best in education, and I applaud them all—in particular those from our district,” said Superintendent John Deasy. “Good teaching is a combination of art and science, and we take pride in our professional educators, who help students unlock their potential.”

With 80,000 teachers countywide, the field was narrowed to 76 candidates that represent the education community’s exemplary leaders. Monroy and Tao finished at the top of the list.
Contestants were required to do interviews and submit essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels, which were comprised of educator peers.

All 16 winners from Los Angeles County automatically advance, along with other county winners around the state, to the California Teachers of the Year competition this fall. The National Teacher of the Year contest is scheduled for next spring.

Monroy teaches algebra at Narbonne. A resident of Los Angeles, she has been a teacher for nine years. “Walk into my classroom and be prepared to learn. Leave your drama outside, she tells her students, “I know math scares you a lot. I don’t expect you to love it, but I expect you to learn it. No matter how difficult it might be, I will not let you give up. Your efforts will pay off.’

Tao teaches physical science at John Muir. A resident of Norwalk, she has been teaching for seven years. Tao said, “Teaching science is so much more than teaching the knowledge of facts. It’s about giving the students the tools needed to navigate the world.”

The District has a rich history of award-winning teachers. Six LAUSD teachers have won the prestigious California Teachers of the Year award.

• In 1976, Carole Billone, a special education teacher at Marlton School for the Deaf
• In 1985, Evaline K. Kruse, an English teacher at Audubon Junior High School.
• In 2006, Kelly Jean Hanock, an English Language Arts teacher at James Monroe High
  School.
• In 2008, Lewis Chappelear, an Engineering Design teacher at James Monroe High School. He
  also   was named one of four nominees for the National Teacher of the Year competition.
• In 2009, Jose L. Navarro IV, a Social Studies and U.S. History teacher at Sylmar High School.
• In 2012, Veronica Marquez, a fifth-grade teacher at Harmony Elementary School.

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Pictured Above: Wendy Yajaira Monroy from Narbonne High School and Jayme Tao from John Muir Middle School.