California Educator

December / January 2017

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Exceptional Educators California's 2018 Teachers of the Year Five extraordinary educators and CTA members have been named as the 2018 California Teachers of the Year. In announcing the winners on Oct. 11, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson noted that the educators have made a great impact in their schools and communities. " These teachers are deeply committed, hardworking and creative," Torlakson said. " They help students find their inner strengths and achieve their dreams, while inspiring, challenging and supporting them every day. They repre- sent the best of their profession." Torlakson will honor the winners, finalists and semifinalists at a gala in Sacramento Feb. 12, 2018. BRIAN McDA N I E L Palm Springs Teachers Association Music, band and choir Painted Hills Middle School JAIME BROWN San Diego Education Association International Baccalaureate English and film studies San Diego High School of International Studies " My personal mantra: 'Kodomo no tame ni' — 'For the sake of the children' in Japanese. Teachers can serve as powerful linchpins of support and compassion for our students. Why do we do what we do? Kodomo no tame ni." Jaime Brown, a 14-year teacher, says she has been shaped by many positive teachers, but she also experienced racism and prejudice from one teacher. Both experiences helped her find her own voice to speak out against preconceptions and injustice, and make certain her students are able to stand up for themselves. Her rigorous and demanding courses offer group discussions where students can share their feelings and concerns. Principal Carmen García says, "Jaime embodies a ' You can do it and I'm here to support you' attitude by ensuring students have a voice in their education. She understands the immense pressure they are going through, and reminds them that their success, through perseverance and dili- gent practice, is around the corner." Brian McDaniel had to overcome poverty and homelessness in his life, which no doubt helped him understand some of the problems his students face. Besides teaching them about music and theory, he is their advocate, academic coach, mentor, counselor and friend. "He is our role model and cham- pion," say students Brandon Ulin, Painted Hills band president , and Kathryne Whalen, choir president. "He understands our issues because they were once his. He helps us with family issues, insecurities, bullying, and always finds a way to make us feel better." McDaniel has been teaching instru- mental and vocal music for 11 years, including two years at Painted Hills. He leads The Regiment, a com- bined band and choir program where every member is challenged to rise above expectations and cultivate an attitude of gratitude and a heart of service. He also serves as director of bands and choirs at both Painted Hills and Bella Vista Elementary School, and is an adjunct professor at Brandman University, School of Arts and Sciences. Torlakson has nominated McDaniel as California's candidate to compete against other state nominees for National Teacher of the Year. " An outstanding teacher is an earthquake looking for every opportunity to burst through the surface and change the world. [That] teacher can generate countless aershocks long aer they've passed on." 62 CTA & You

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