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Four CTA members named California Teachers of the Year 2010 California Teachers of the Year, describing them as “out- standing educators and amaz- ing instructional leaders.” “Each Teacher of the Year has many stories to tell about over- coming obstacles, achieving goals, and igniting inspiration. I am honored to congratulate each of them, and I hope that their successes will encourage other educators and aspiring teachers who are working hard each day to make a difference in students’ lives.” S tate Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell has named the teaching skills and hands-on learning techniques. As a World History teacher, I am able to teach students about diverse cultural achievements, religions, governments, geography and arts from around the globe.” This past year, Carrow was awarded a Teacher Fellowship Grant from the Earthwatch Foundation to conduct scientif- ic research in Nova Scotia relat- ed to the effects of climate change. She was in daily contact with her students online. “They truly were transported through this experience, and it has sparked their desire to partici- pate in affecting positive world climate change from their school.” room ceiling during experi- ments. “Having taught more than 5,000 students over the course of 29 years in education, I re- call that when I started teach- ing, I thought the most im- portant things I had to teach were concepts and standards. Now I know that the most im- portant thing I can contribute to my students is a joy of learning. My greatest accom- plishment is the successful in- spiring of my students, not just occasionally, but for ev- ery student, every day.” She laments that some par- ents consider science to be a more desirable career choice for boys than for girls. “I strive to inspire all my stu- dents to see the wonder and joy of science and math, and encourage boys and girls alike to pursue further courses in high school,” says Marvin. Amber Carrow is a seventh- grade teacher at Chemawa Mid- dle School in the Riverside Uni- fied School District. Carrow has a simple teaching philosophy: Reach the student first, and then you can teach the subject. “I am challenged by my teacher-student relationships and recognize that I will always be adjusting, rethinking and striving to attain their respect,” says Carrow, a Riverside City Teachers Association member. “I work very hard to take my class from ordinary to extraor- dinary.” Carrow not only teaches about the world, she explores it as well. “I attempt to bring his- tory to life through a variety of Kathy R. Marvin is an eighth- grade teacher at Sierra Vista Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District. “I inspire my students to be- come scientists by giving them the opportunities to be scien- tists now so they can experience discovery in its rawest form and feel the awe of it,” says Marvin, an Irvine Teachers Association member. Marvin has been teaching for 29 years, of which nine years have been in her current position as science teacher — known schoolwide for blow- ing the tiles out of the class- 28 California Educator | december 2009 • january 2010 Melanie Tolan of the San Diego County Office of Educa- tion teaches 10th and 11th grades at Sarah Anthony School. “To be a student in my class is to be in a class like no other,” says Tolan, an Association of Educators member. “First of all, it would mean that you are accused of a crime.” Tolan has been teaching for Valerie Ziegler teaches 11th and 12th grades at Abra- ham Lincoln High School in the San Francisco Unified School Dist ric t. She has 14 years, of which three years have been at Sarah Anthony, which provides educational programs for young people de- tained in Kearny Mesa Juvenile Hall. Previously she taught at the Toussaint Academy, a school located at a homeless shelter for teens. “I have to establish right away with my students that my classroom is a safe haven from the chaos of juvenile hall,” says Tolan. “I need to gain students’ respect quickly and form rela- tionships so they will respect my classroom as a refuge from the outside. Otherwise, the classroom can become a per- fect place to fight or cause oth- er problems — because there are no probation officers pres- ent, just me.” A colleague of Tolan’s noted that “most of her students enter her classroom angry and afraid with school being the last thing on their minds. Melanie was selected to work with this stu- dent population particularly because of her demonstrated ability to motivate and engage some of the most challenging students we serve.” Photos courtesy of CDE

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