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

LOS ANGELES – Recognized for their dedication and contribution to student achievement, a record five Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) educators were named Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year (TOY) for 2014-15 during a ceremony today at Universal City.

In total, 16 teachers received the county designation. These standard-bearers are now in the running for the California Teacher of the Year award. The state winner moves up to the national competition, which will be held next spring.

“These teachers represent the best in education. I applaud them all—in particular those from our District,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy. “Good teaching combines art and science. We take pride in our honorees.”

The five-county winners from L.A. Unified were selected from 75 candidates, who had been honored locally by their school districts. In June, L.A. Unified recognized 21teachers for the competition.

The county competition required interviews, essays, lesson plans and other materials judged by panels of educators.

The L.A. County Teachers of the Year from L.A. Unified are:

Maricar J. Fortuno Catalán, Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy - Business and Technology, is completing her first year as a seventh-grade, life science/health teacher.  A resident of Gardena, she has been teaching for eight years.

Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, Dodson Middle School, has been an eighth-grade English teacher there for two years. A resident of Torrance, she has been teaching for 11 years.

Isabel J. Morales, Robert F. Kennedy Los Angeles High School of the Arts, has taught government, economics and Advanced Placement courses there for six years. A resident of Los Angeles, she has been teaching for a decade.

Michael A. Morgan, Bravo Medical Magnet High School, has taught chemistry there for 24 years. A resident of Redondo Beach, he has been teaching for 26 years.

Hector V. Perez-Roman, Arleta High School, has been a world history/Advanced Placement teacher there for seven years. A resident of Northridge, he has been teaching for 10 years.

The District has a rich history of award-winning teachers.  Over the years, six LAUSD teachers have won the prestigious California Teacher of the Year award. They are:

·         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.

Currently, more than 27,000 teachers instruct, motivate and inspire L.A. Unified students.


Contact: Ellen Morgan (213) 241-6766